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Dispatch Report on Mitchell

Buckeye80's picture
February 10, 2014 at 7:42pm

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Buckeye80's picture

I should add that I trust 11W more than the Dispatch!

The Rill Dill's picture

Tim May is pretty solid.  He has been entrenched with the Buckeyes for decades, and has a great reputation------and a great laugh/giggle.

tdible2132's picture

Yeah I love that 11W was respectful about the situation, but if I'm being honest it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that Mitchell must not have really loved it at OSU. If he did, he would probably stick it out. Doesn't make him a bad kid or anything though and you have to respect his decision, just wasn't meant to be.

+1 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I posted this in another thread, but here's what we knew and when on Mitchell.

I know there's a number of people out there who are going to make this story about something more than it is - a kid who wants to be closer to his family - so I decided right now to post what we knew and when, to let you all make the decision. As for me, Mitchell and his family are a class group, so I choose to believe that what we've been told (that this is a family decision) is the truth. No reason to think otherwise.

I was told two weeks before the Orange Bowl, the week after the B1G championship game, that Mike was going to be leaving school after winter break, and that he was going to head home to Texas Tech. He absolutely was frustrated by the fact that he didn't burn his redshirt because he was told that when he enrolled at Ohio State  he'd be in line to earn some key minutes as a freshman. He was in essence "promised" he wouldn't redshirt, but he did.

At that time, Ohio State did their due diligence and had a sitdown with Mike and the coaching staff and cleared the air. Things were "smoothed over," and the Buckeyes felt confident that they had rode out the storm in regard to him potentially transferring. He realized that a transfer would put him out another year and that he'd be in line to be a starter at Ohio State this coming season and he was on board with that that line of thinking. 

After the bowl game (because I was told point blank on 1/9, a week after the Orange Bowl, that he was for sure staying put at Ohio State,) Mike got the word that his father's condition had worsened quite a bit and unexpectedly, so he took off from school for a few days and went back to Texas. When he came back, the decision to leave Columbus had been made, but the coaching staff had once again asked us to not run the story because they wanted to make sure they had a chance to talk to him about when the sudden emotional response to his father's illness had run its course. That has not happened. Mike has been away from the football team and trying to handle his business privately, but today we were told it was "ok" to run the story, so we did.

I know that Mike's plan as of now is to leave Ohio State post-semester (which he has to do in order to keep financial aid/scholarship stuff in line for future endeavors) and to take time away from football to help stabilize his family. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Thanks for the clarification, Jeremy. Excellent and classy reporting all around!

Reading between the lines on this . . . and not to be a jerk, but . . . is it fair to say (or at least wonder if) Mitchell was a bit of a disappointment in fall 2013? I know he was described as being a "raw" talent coming in and that he supposedly got injured in camp, but he felt like he should have been playing as a frosh - i.e., his opinion of his playing ability was higher than the staff's. Obviously, the staff made a big push to keep him in the fold and it's an open competition for starting LB spots this spring and fall. Yet maybe he projected to be a back up at this point?

That's not to question in the least MM's stated reasons for leaving. I'm just wondering if such an assessment might cushion the blow.

P.s., it makes sense now that 11W staff breakdown on the 2014 LB situation (last week?) was light on Mitchell.

buckeyedexter's picture

Edit: going to delete that comment and see how it plays out.

Buckeye80's picture

Thanks Jeremy!  Like I said, I trust 11W and the info found here. I just thought that  it was interesting that the article in the Dispatch seemed to make the family situation less important. I wish Mike and his family the best of luck. 

VestedInterest's picture

We never really "know" what promises are made with 100% certainty.

I never want to have to speculate on promises made and/or delivered. I would prefer players attend based on Ohio State alone. You work to earn playing time. You work to gain respect.

We should never be in a position of writing checks our ass can't cash.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I doubt that the staff made any foreordained promises. They probably said that if Mitchell was good enough to play, he would play as a frosh - no red shirt. If Mitchell believed that he was good enough to play as a frosh, though, he might have seen it as a broken promise.

kmp10's picture

I certainly don't doubt that Mike Mitchell is leaving Ohio State, at least in part, due to his father's illness. As Mitchell's family business is in no way, shape, form or fashion any of my business I won't ask for details and/or any elaboration specific to this part of the Mitchell story… but I am very curious as to the other half of the equation; the part about Mitchell being "unhappy" in the program, and the fact that he got zero minutes of playing time last season. This is especially baffling when I consider the issues OSU had on defense last year, specifically at linebacker. Why is a 5* recruit sitting on the bench stewing about his lack of playing time when the kids playing in front of him were obviously under preforming (minus Shazier). I mean, how much worse could Mitchell have been?

It seems that there could be a few different questions asked here. Did the staff miss badly in their talent evaluation of Mitchell (seems unlikely)? Did the staff make a huge tactical error in not playing Mitchell on a defense that was obviously struggling and exceedingly thin at the linebacker position? Aside from Mitchell's father's illness, how did things go so wrong so fast? Why wasn't Mitchell given a chance during last season's defensive debacle? Was he performing so poorly in practice and did Fickell have so little confidence in him that he wasn't even considered for playing time on a defense that was as bad as any I've ever seen at Ohio State? I mean, it seems either Mitchell is a capable and promising player who was stupidly overlooked by the defensive staff, or he's a player who didn't live up to his 5* status and the staff realized it early and decided he was a redshirt project… and Mitchell felt deceived because of it. I guess the third option could be that he simply needs to be closer to home and his ailing father and that there is nothing more to it than that… but then there's Tim May (with Jeremy corroborating) saying that Mitchell was "unhappy in the program". I think his dad's illness pushed him over the edge, but I'd like to know what got him to the edge to begin with and how the defensive staff let that happen...

+6 HS
Brandon26841's picture

I've always thought he'd be a bit of a project. That SPARQ competition really put him on the map and helped get his name out there (although he was a solid prospect before it). Kinda interesting in hindsight, but this was what I posted about Mitchell back in January '13 on another site.


"Seems to have good football instincts and the physical tools are off the charts. 

One thing I notice with him though is that he seems to tackle a little too high. Maybe it's his height or whatever, but IDK... there's just something odd about his game. If you watch those 2012 highlights, almost every single tackle is an arm / drag down tackle. I think the MLB spot is going to come down to Williams / Crowell / Mitchell / Johnson, but I honestly don't see much of a chance that Mitchell starts right away. He just seems a little bit raw to me, but his frame + his instincts + his ridiculous physical tools could eventually produce one damn good all-around linebacker. I think he'd be a better SLB or even LEO prospect personally, but they've got enough guys there.

I just think people should maybe consider lowering their expectations for Mike a little. I remember reading a lot of the same stuff about Sabino and Grant."


I didn't think he was going to start this year for what it's worth (not much); figured Grant and Perry were near locks at Mike and Sam, and Mitchell doesn't really seem suited for the Will spot. I don't know; I was extremely intrigued by him just like everyone else because of his ridiculous physical tools, but I thought it'd take him a while to get going. Honestly, there was a chance he was never going to start at OSU had he not won a spot this year and couldn't ever beat out McMillan / Booker / Johnson / Berger, who are all great prospects. I'm disappointed to see him leave though. 

+2 HS
Run_Fido_Run's picture

That was a prescient comment - kudos!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

KMP10: I don't know the answers to your questions, but I'll ask a (rhetorical) question in return . . . How many kids can recall who transferred from Ohio State and then became high-level performers at their next stop?

LouGroza's picture

Recently, the kid that went to Duke, Cash I believe, performed very well. Other than that, none come to mind. Sorry for barging in on the convo.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Not barging in at all - thanks for providing that good example. I'm not quite ready to abandon my working hypothesis that former transfers have a low rate of success (in high-level college football terms), but Cash has done well.

buckeyestu's picture

I wish him good luck and hope his father gets well. I don't need to know why he did or did not play, or if he was happy or unhappy.. None of my business. I just hope things go well for him and his family.

FROMTHE18's picture

In any case, I wish him the best moving forward and again, pray his father's situation improves. 

Maceyko's picture

A kid has high expectations when you come out of high school that highly ranked.  Sometimes they are shocked by what they DON'T know or how big of a jump it is to big time college ball.  I doubt that the coaching staff missed this one (of course they could have) but as a true freshman he just had some things he needed to work on before they felt he was ready.  Add in a few injuries and suddenly here you are.  I am sure his ailing father is the big factor in all of this but that he also doesn't believe or trust the coaches like he did coming in. I was looking forward to seeing if he lived up to the hype but I wish him the best and it is what it is.

LouGroza's picture

As we all know, when a kid comes to OSU he is a stud in HS. They all expect to come into the OSU program and make a difference in some way. When it doesn't happen it can become an issue or a motivation. Not saying in any way this was a deciding factor with MM as we do not know for sure. But if another issue is added to a kid not playing, such as an ailing parent, it would make a decision such as this easier to make. Whatever the case, the Mitchells are class people and only hope for the best for Mike and his dad and family.

gobucks96's picture

Let's not kid ourselves either, the elephant named "Kwon" standing in the center of the room in this discussion of playing time.. That has to play into the "on the field" part of the discussion.

That said, I wish his father a quick turn for the better and the kid can get back to playing a game he does so very well..

OldColumbusTown's picture

I don't know that this is a situation where you can simply say he is leaving because of "X, Y, and Z."  Obviously, I believe that 98% of the reason Mike has decided to leave has to do with his father's situation.  No one knows how much something like that has affected or can affect Mike, especially when he was away from his dad while it is an ongoing situation.

However, I do agree with what some have said - if he was 100% completely happy at OSU, I believe he and the staff may have tried to work something out with some time away, etc.  But, I don't think it is easy to say the staff missed on him as a prospect, or he did not learn the defense well enough, or he was unhappy with how he was treated, etc.  These are always complicated things.  He was hurt in fall camp and it set him back a little.  This team was doing fine for the majority of the season, and if he was already behind, why burn a year of his eligibility for your program just so he could see the field for half the season.  By the time the staff realizes they made a mistake in holding him out and that he could help them win, then it becomes unfair to Mike to use up a year.  Seems like a bit of a snowball effect with how this all went down.

Regardless, I respect Mike's decision for what it is - a young man thinking of his family and taking his responsibilities to his family very seriously.  My prayers go out to him and his family.

ek68's picture

Thanks Jeremy I agree with your answer. I know there will be ones out there trying to make this a blame game and that's alright. I will read all comments & can agree or disagree. I believe this is a family issue & will respect Mike's decision. Good Luck Mike & hope your father gets better soon.