The 11W Community Interview is truly of the people, by the people and for the people. You submit the questions and then we pass them on to the biggest names in the world of Ohio State athletics.
Ohio State won what may have been its biggest recruiting battle of the current recruiting cycle when Virginia Beach Bishop Sullivan four-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell picked the Buckeyes over Florida State in June.
The Seminoles were the long-time favorite in his recruitment thanks to their history of pulling top prospects in Hampton Roads. But with both programs on even footing academically and athletically, the 6-foot-2, 232-pound Mitchell picked the Buckeyes because of the opportunities the program will provide to him in life after football.
Mitchell recorded more than 100 tackles at Virginia Beach Bishop Sullivan this season, and he’s among five finalists for the USA TODAY Sports Defensive Player of the Year as a result of those efforts. The Crusaders finished with a 6-5 record, but were widely considered the top-ranked program in the state because of their difficult national schedule.
Mitchell — who took his official visit to Columbus this weekend — is set to sign with the Buckeyes this week and enroll in classes in June. But first, he sits down and talks with our readers and shares the origin of his name, how much attention he paid to recruiting rankings and more in the 11W Community Interview.
How would you compare Virginia high school football to some of the more reputable such as Florida, Ohio and Texas? - BuckeyeJK
TM: “I feel like Virginia has just as good of athletes as the other states. High school football is a bigger deal in other states like Florida, Texas and California, and that gives them the hype. But I feel like there’s just as good of athletes in other states like Virginia.”
Pregame locker room. What's on your playlist? - Hovenaut
TM: “I try not to get too hype before the game. I try to start it off slow and progress my way to the hype. Start of with ‘Knockin’ the Boots’ by H-Town and progress my way to something like ‘Glow Up’ by Meek Mill.”
Who do you try to model your game after? - Cpewster
TM: “I try to be the best Teradja Mitchell I can be, but’s I had to say someone, it’d definitely be Reuben Foster.”
What’s your favorite food that your mom makes? - ThePritch
TM: “Macaroni pie.”
As a recruit, how much do you pay attention to recruit ranking websites, star appraisals and fluctuations in rankings? Do they ever serve as motivation, or are they just background noise? - INENEMYTERRITORY
TM: “In all honesty, I check them occasionally. I think it’s interesting to see what analysts think of you and where you match up with other players around the country. I have a competitive spirit, so I do tend to check them, but it doesn’t really serve as much motivation. It adds a little fuel to my fire, but not much, so I tend to see it as background noise.”
What is the background on your name, Teradja? - GABuckeye
TM: “My grandfather’s name was Elijah and my father’s name is Terry, so my late aunt creatively put together that name out of those two.”
Who are you closest with in the class or on the team? Who are you looking forward to meeting or getting to know better? - BIGTIMEBUCKS
TM: “I’m closest with my fellow linebacker commits K’Vaughn Pope and Dallas Gant. And I’m looking forward to getting closer to all of the other commits. These guys are going to be my brothers the next few years, and hopefully for a lifetime.”
Is there one hit you’ve made that really stands out to you or that you are most proud of? - SoulPatrol32
TM: “The hit I am most proud is from my sophomore year. I made a big hit on my big brother and current Florida State running back Khalan Laborn. I knocked his mouthpiece out of his mouth and the ball.”
Who is your favorite former Ohio State linebacker? - BuckeyeJK
TM: “Hands down, Ryan Shazier.”
What was the greatest lesson you learned in high school, either on or off the football field? - Seattle Linga
TM: “The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that through hard work, determination and praying, ANYTHING is possible. There is no limits.”