Ohio State's 2013 recruiting class got a tremendous boost in the Army All-American Bowl in January by landing the verbal commitment of Plano, Texas LB Mike Mitchell.
Mitchell, a 5-star recruit according to Scout.com, is among the most talented linebacker prospects in the country because of his tremendous athleticism and intelligence.
He is the prototypical middle linebacker for a 4-3 defense, which fits in perfectly with what OSU needs on its defense.
But what makes Mitchell a star prospect?
Here are the three main ingredients that make Mike Mitchell a special recruit.
Of all the great athletes in the Class of 2013, including Alabama recruit Derrick Henry, Mitchell shined brightest last July at The Opening, winning the SPARQ rating national championship.
Mitchell ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 and demonstrated his great speed as well.
He is 6'4", 225 pounds, with the ability to possibly add about 20 more pounds to his frame.
For anybody, a 4.39 40-time is outstanding. For a linebacker, it can make a tremendous difference.
Being able to diagnose a play and make the right read on it is what separates good linebackers from great ones.
Mitchell shows on film the ability to read the play and attack it aggressively. He runs well in space and finishes plays very well with his sound tackling.
Mitchell will be the type of linebacker, if he develops properly, who doesn't get by on athleticism alone even though he is an elite athlete.
Because of his size and speed, Mike Mitchell can line up in any linebacker spot in the 4-3, or possibly even as a rush end in passing situations or hybrid looks.
That tremendous amount of versatility will make Mitchell a valuable asset, especially from the first day he steps foot on OSU's campus.
The Buckeyes are devoid of proven linebackers on their roster with the exception of Ryan Shazier, who could be the best linebacker in the Big Ten.
They added Trey Johnson, who is pretty good himself. But Mitchell can be a difference-maker from day one. His athleticism and versatility give him a great chance to do just that.
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