Video: US Army All-American Bowl Interviews with Mike Mitchell and Ezekiel Elliott

By Kyle Rowland on January 5, 2013 at 9:30a

Perhaps no position on the Ohio State roster is as thin as linebacker. Ryan Shazier remains the man in the middle, but gone is Zach Boren, Etienne Sabino and Storm Klein. If you happen to be a high school linebacker with good size and a great 40, playing time at Ohio State is there for the taking.

On Friday night, the Buckeyes landed a nationally televised commitment from Trey Johnson, a consensus top-three inside linebacker. At the US Army All-American Bowl Saturday afternoon, Ohio State has a great chance to snag Mike Mitchell, a top-10 outside linebacker.

Mitchell, now living in Texas, grew up in Florida a fan of Urban Meyer. So when Ohio State started recruiting Mitchell, it was a no-brainer for the 6-foot-4, 235-pound linebacker to recipricate the interest.

Even before his December visit, it was widely known that Mitchell considered Ohio State his No. 1 choice. Traveling to Columbus only solidified that.

“I felt good there,” Mitchell said. “I’ve had a really good relationship with Coach Meyer and everybody else there. I feel I can compete for playing time this year because they’re thin at linebacker.”

Despite living in Texas, Mitchell’s ties to the state are few and far between, which is why Texas A&M isn’t more seriously in play. Because Mitchell moved to the Lone Star State, staying ‘home’ isn’t a huge factor.



A teammate of Mitchell’s this week on the West team is running back Ezekiel Elliott. The longtime Ohio State commit has been spending time in the backfield as well as at wide receiver. His athleticism has given defenders fits in practice, including Mitchell and one-time Ohio State target and Notre Dame commit Jaylon Smith.

Elliott, a two-time all-state selection in Missouri, amassed more than 3,000 all-purpose yards this past season and could provide the OSU offense with a Percy Harvin-type versatility. It’s a characteristic Meyer has been searching for since he arrived in Columbus.

The running back position is deep, but Elliott could see playing time this season simply because he offers so many skills. His size and speed could place him as a kick returner.


Saturday night, once the Under Armour game and U.S. Army games are history, Ohio State's coaches will gather around a table in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and may engage in a bit of celebrating. A top-5 class will likely rise to the No. 2 or 3 spot depending on what wide receiver James Quick decides to do. One thing is all but certain, linebacker will go from worry to help is on the way.


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ogdirtyd's picture

It's a great weekend for tOSU! Can't wait to see Mitchell and hopefully Quick put on that Buckeyes hat! 

Buckeye born and bred, a Buckeye 'til I'm dead.


bukyze's picture

Would love to see Zeke on special teams!

RBuck's picture

Mitchell almost sounds like he's already commited.

Long live the southend.

rdubs's picture

It wouldn't surprise me if he was.  Players will often tell the coaches before they announce publicly.

dubjayfootball90's picture

Great time to be a Buckeye!!!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

LouGroza's picture

Yessir it is. Kind of like getting the first pick in the draft except over and over !!!

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

Help is on the way! Mike Mitchell/the new Buckeye missile. Scarlet and grey/recruiting away. Come to Ohio State/the rewards will be great!

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

kmp10's picture

Did anyone see Jaylon Smith / Bishop Luers (IN) vs. Columbus Bishop Hartley this past season??? Granted, it was one game, but he wasn't even remotely impressive that night. Didn't stand out in any way. Did anyone have a chance to see Smith play (other than his highlight reel) in any other games this year? Was the Hartley game just an aberration??? 

BuckeyeNut's picture

He looked really good on both sides of the ball in his state championship game.  I did not see him in person though.
Edit:  Luers had some issues early in the year with the HC getting canned for off the field issues.  I think this affected the team for quite a while.

gwalther's picture

I like this Elliott kid. He sounds like a Buckeye through and through. Love Mitchell's character and sounds like he's on-board.

Class of 2008

bowthrock's picture

Show them the Kerry Coombs video and they will commit!!

"Lets beat the shit out of Michigan".... Urban. Frank. Meyer.

Poison nuts's picture

Actually, pretty sure Zeke made the Kerry Coombs video & Mithcell was there for that speech as well...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Jhesse17's picture

Wow these guys both seem really mature. 

biggy84's picture

I'm impressed with how well spoken both of these guys are. They both seem to be intelligent, level headed kids. Great representatives for tOSU.

CC's picture

I wish I was as mature as Mike when I was 21.  Seems like a really great kid.

Savage45's picture

These commentators love them some Derrick Greene, if we didn't have scholarship reductions would he be commited to us already?

CowCat's picture

"Help is on the way"  LOL.
Is that same guy hustling on High Street still?

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer