COMMITTED: Catching Up With Mike Mitchell

By Kyle Rowland on January 5, 2013 at 7:30p

On Saturday afternoon in the Alamodome, linebacker Mike Mitchell put months of buildup to a halt. Finally, he would be committing to a major college football program. In doing so, the next three, four or five years of his life would take form.

True to speculation, Mitchell donned a white hat emblazoned with Ohio State’s logo. He is Ohio State’s second linebacker commitment in as many days, joining Trey Johnson, who committed to Ohio State on Friday at the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. The duo provides depth to a position that is thin, but includes several highly acclaimed underclassmen.

It was OSU all the way for Mike Mitchell.

Born in Florida, Mitchell has long been a fan of Urban Meyer. When the recruiting letters and phone calls from Ohio State starting coming, the Buckeyes shot up his list, ultimately surpassing Texas A&M.

Two starting linebacker spots are open this season, and Mitchell plans on competing for playing time. Ohio State’s defense lost several stalwarts from 2012 – Big Ten defensive player of the year John Simon, Johnathan Hankins, Nathan Williams, Garrett Goebel, Etienne Sabino, Zach Boren and Travis Howard – but Luke Fickell has to be pleased with the talent he has coming in, Mitchell and Johnson included.

Also playing in the U.S. Army All-American Game was defensive back Eli Apple, while defensive backs Cam Burrows and Gareon Conley, and defensive tackle Joey Bosa appeared in the Under Armour game.

The Silver Bullets were rusty the first half of the season, but in the month of November, the most important timeframe in college football, Ohio State’s defense was among the best in the country.

“We filled those holes, especially on defense,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “We became a really good team and, I felt, at the end of the season we could play with any team in the country.”

Aside from Ohio State’s perfect 12-0 record, the defensive statistics reveal that Meyer, in all likelihood, is spot-on with his assessment.

The Buckeyes ranked second nationally in total defense during the month of November, allowing just 270 yards per game. They also were second in fewest plays allowed over 10 yards (26), sixth in pass defense (140 ypg) and 19th in scoring defense (19 ppg).

Those numbers were produced against Big Ten champion Wisconsin and archrival Michigan.

On the season, the defense led the country in passes defended (88) and ranked an impressive 14th in the nation in rush defense (116 ypg).

What was the overriding factor that made you choose Ohio State over Texas A&M?

All three of the schools I had out there were great programs (Ohio State, Texas A&M and Oregon) and have great coaches and great facilities. Anywhere you would have gone would have been awesome. It mostly came down to where I felt I fit in best and was most comfortable. Ohio State was that school I felt comfortable at and felt I belonged.

Ohio State lost two starting linebackers from the 2012 team and didn’t have much depth either. How much did that play in your decision?

It’s a good opportunity (because I can possibly play as a freshman). You want to be smart about your decision, and I felt that was the best opportunity.

The Buckeyes were the leader in your clubhouse throughout the recruiting process. How important was your official visit in December?

You could say it sealed the deal. I knew it was a great school and that just confirmed all the thoughts I had about it.

During your visit to campus, what things in particular stuck out to you?

The players were really great guys. Their strength coach (Mickey Marotti) is unbelievable – one of the best in the business. Urban Meyer is one of the best ever, the coaching staff is great, and I love the campus.

How has your growing relationship with Luke Fickell been during your recruitment?

Awesome. He knows the game and is a real student of the game. He’s going to teach me a lot. That’s what I like.

You’re the second linebacker to commit in as many days. What do you know about Trey Johnson?

I really didn’t know about him until the last couple weeks. We’re going to need some really good linebackers, so it’s great having him there on the team. We’re going to be a really good linebacker squad.

You’re enrolling at Ohio State for the summer semester. What will your football life consist of between now and then?

Just working out like a maniac. I keep to myself, stay out of trouble. I just don’t want to go crazy and just want to really work hard until I get to Columbus.


Comments Show All Comments

LouGroza's picture

I love this kid and am very happy for him.  Be fun to watch him in the future.

dubjayfootball90's picture

The last answer he had shows how much he cares about football and his future..... He is going to be good.

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

Orlando Pancakes's picture

For personal reasons I wish he would have committed after his visit, but I'm just glad to have arguably our most important recruit (due to need and ability) officially on board now.

fansince1968's picture

Welcome to TOSU Mike!

Crimson's picture

I love the attitude on this kid!  He embraces competition and is a team player.  If he doesn't work out, it surely won't be for lack of effort.

TheHannimal's picture


Maniac Mike

jestertcf's picture

That's a good one. I am partial to the nickname someone else has already given him.
Abusement Park.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

osu07asu10's picture

Kid sounds special. Welcome home Mike!!

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

fear_the_nut70's picture

After reading through this, it does strike me as odd he didn't commit in December.  He doesn't strike me as the kind of kid that needs his 15 minutes and the circus that comes with it.  Don't get me wrong, this is one of the biggest decisions he will make in his life and I could not blame him even if he waited until national signing day, it just seems odd to me.  At any rate, welcome to Buckeye Nation, I really do think this kid is going to be a star at Ohio State.

Crimson's picture

There is rampant speculation that some of the guys we want have verbal'd, but Meyer asked them to announce at an All American game.  Take it for what it's worth.

cinserious's picture

Why not use the AA game to build up even more exitement on a national stage for the Buckeyes!

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

ODEEZ330's picture

Imagine him crushing morris when he unathletically scrambles for his life from bosa ala thomas ua game.

Between mitchell n bosa we got some jacked recruits

stark county football

Urbstache's picture

He stays out of trouble...YAY. 

Urban Warfare

bassplayer7770's picture

"We're going to be a really good linebacker squad." That is music to my ears.

Dougger's picture

Back to the way it should be

I like football

farmerbuck's picture

Yep, working out like a maniac and staying out of trouble. I like him even more now.

You have to hate losing more than you love winning! GO BUCKS!!

3technique's picture

There is certainly a lot of speed among these guys and the 2012 recruits. I really hope they can contribute right away..

BSTP DeCon's picture

"working out like a maniac." Maybe he can be a John Simon for the linebacking core. I LIKE that a lot! (:

jford2's picture

He has a passion to learn! Says Fickell can teach him a lot and that excites him. That separates him right there! Welcome to The Ohio State University!


Poison nuts's picture

If he plays like he answers questions, he's going to win some awards...OSU will be in damn fine shape in the LB dept. Welcome aboard Mike!

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

sir rickithda3rd's picture

im so glad we got him... with him and the other recruits the defense is going to be one of the most athletic groups ive ever seen in college football

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

cinserious's picture

something tells me this kid works out 'like a maniac' already. However, nothing will compare to the conditioning Micky Marotti will have in store for him. Mitchell will miss the initial winter and spring conditioning so I feel the returning LBs might get a leg up on him. Mitchell's real chance of coming out on top would be to immerse himself in the playbook thoroughly.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

kareemabduljacobb's picture

Man, Mitchell is a beast... He's already ripped just think what Micky will do with him... He's gonna look like Clay Matthews.

Dougger's picture

Ah Kareem sorry dude tried to up vote you! I apologize! Good comment

I like football

rightfield's picture

I have a feeling  this group of defenders will be remembered for a long time in Buckeye Nation. Can Mitchell produce like AJ Hawk? I sure hope so.

Its good to be the king