The Ohio State Buckeyes are in the lead for the commitment of 4-star outside linebacker Mike Mitchell out of Plano, Texas.
Mitchell is just a 4-star recruit, but he has the potential to be much better than even his ranking would suggest. Rivals.com has him checking in at 6'4'', 216 pounds, and even more impressive is that they have him down for running a 4.39 40-yard dash.
Mitchell has the combination of speed and size that could make him him elite at the college level, so Ohio State has to be feeling good about being named his current leader in a video interview done with Jason Howell of Rivals.com.
OSU is in the lead, but Mitchell did also say that he's looking at Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oregon as well.
Urban Meyer and Ohio State have plenty to offer the 4-star linebacker, including a program that looks like they can start competing for the National Championship and certainly the Big Ten once their sanctions are lifted, but if one of these other three powerhouse programs could take the lead away from the Buckeyes, which one would it be?
The one team OSU is going to have to be weary of happens to be the current No. 3 ranked team in the BCS standings: The Oregon Ducks.
Oregon's plethora of jerseys, their exciting offense and their National Championship aspirations definitely make the Ducks an attractive option for elite recruits like Mitchell, but there's also a few other factors that could propel Chip Kelly's crew to the top of the 4-star linebacker's list.
In his interview with Howell on Rivals, Mitchell mentioned that he's been looking at depth charts, so one can only assume that having a shot to play early on in his career will be important.
Two of Texas A&M's three main linebackers are seniors, and they only have one freshman and two sophomores behind them on the depth chart. A&M could be the best option in that regard, but that said, Oregon isn't exactly stacked for the future at linebacker themselves.
All three of Oregon's main linebackers on their depth chart are upperclassmen. Both Michael Clay and Kiko Alonso are seniors, and Boseko Lokombo is a junior. The rest of the depth chart at linebacker consists of current freshman and sophomores (four in all). Also, Kelly only has 11 players committed so far to his 2013 class, none of which are linebackers according to Rivals. Mitchell could come in and at least feel like he could compete for time with the younger players on the roster, and his talent may allow him to. He'll also certainly be the top linebacker in his class if he chooses the Ducks.
There's one more factor that Oregon has going for them.
We all know the Ducks are a fast and athletic team on both sides of the ball, and like I said earlier, Mitchell has the size and speed to be an elite college defender.
He'd fit in perfectly with what the Ducks do on the defensive side of the ball, and he'd be put in the position to make plays. This past weekend against USC, Oregon forced the Trojans into three turnovers, although they did give up 51 points.
Overall, Oregon would present Mitchell with the chance to play for a national contender, to play an exciting brand of football, and he'd still have the opportunity to compete on their depth chart.
If there's a school that can take the lead away from Ohio State for the 4-star linebacker, it would be Oregon.