Linebacker Mike Mitchell has left the Ohio State football team and will transfer after the spring semester, sources told Eleven Warriors. Mitchell, who redshirted last season, plans to attend a college near his Plano, Texas home to be close to his ailing father.
In early January, Eleven Warriors learned that Mitchell had made an unexpected trip to Texas when he received word that his father was ill. But at that time it was unclear whether or not he’d remain with the football program.
The former five-star recruit was one of the crown jewels of the Buckeyes’ acclaimed 2013 recruiting class. But an injury in fall camp set him back and contributed to his redshirt.
Mitchell was expected to factor into Ohio State’s linebacker rotation this season, adding depth to an area in need. Curtis Grant and Joshua Perry are the team’s returning starters, but Mitchell, along with Trey Johnson, Camren Williams, Raekwon McMillan, Sam Hubbard, Dante Booker and Kyle Berger, was a candidate to receive playing time.
“Right now most of my family is in Texas, and I wanted to stay with them. But after I came to Ohio State and visited, I loved it so much. It’s almost like a religion,” Mitchell said last August. “They have NFL teams, but this is the team for all of Ohio, so everybody loves them.”
Mitchell’s father, Ken, played two seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and also toiled in minor league baseball with the California Angels’ farm system. His younger brother, Mickey, is a four-star basketball recruit currently committed to Ohio State.