As we roll along through this 2013 freshman class, the linebacker position is a spot where we could really see the greatest immediate contributions. Mike Mitchell is one of the recruits who very well could see himself in a position not unlike that of A.J. Hawk or James Laurinaitis. Our linebacker corps is experienced, but also thin when it comes to the guys with that experience. Should we see some of the injuries as we did last year, you could see Mitchell on the field starting his career as a Buckeye starter sooner rather than later. He is that talented.
The 5 star (Rivals) linebacker from Plano, TX was one of Meyer’s biggest gets for this class on either side of the ball. Impressive in both size (6’4) and obvious strength, the biggest surprise about Mitchell could be his quickness. Coming out of high school he ran a 4.39 second 40 yard dash to go along with a 4.25 second shuttle and 40 inch vertical. Those stats are impressive for a guy heading his size heading to the league, let alone his freshman year in college. His physical attributes will get him in the game, but his mental game is what will keep him there.
Mitchell is a turnover creating machine. His knack for the ball is something that is always appreciated on a Silver Bullets defense. During his final two high school seasons he had a combined 337 tackles, 64 for a loss, 22 sacks and forced 12 fumbles. He also recorded 2 interceptions as a junior, and his senior year he even ran a kickoff back for a touchdown. If this isn’t a guy who can make an instant impact I’m not sure who will. Look for him to be the first man down the field on a kickoff, likely blowing up a wall, and eventually on the field in some crucial situations on defense, which appears to be right where he loves to be.