2016 ATH Recruit Ahmir Mitchell Opens Up on Fast-Moving Recruitment Process

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2016 ATH Recruit Ahmir Mitchell Opens Up on Fast-Moving Recruitment Process
Credit: 247Sports

Florida State has extended scholarships to nearly 50 high school sophomores across the country, according to 247Sports. Count New Jersey athlete Ahmir Mitchell among those who didn't see his coming.

The 6'2", 190-pound Cedar Creek High School star received an offer from the Seminoles last Wednesday. In an instant, his recruitment reached another level.

"It was a very exciting experience," Mitchell said. "My coach called me down and told me that I was officially offered by the Florida State Seminoles. ... It was jaw-dropping. I was ecstatic about it. I was really excited to be given the opportunity to play for the defending champs. They're No. 1, and it really doesn't get any better than that."

The reigning national champions sent a member of the staff to speak with Cedar Creek head coach Tim Watson. Florida State formally issued an offer during the interaction, a major coup for a high school football program that didn't compete at the varsity level until 2011.

The Pirates quickly burst onto the scene in 2012, reaching a sectional championship game. Mitchell, a freshman wide receiver at the time, quickly became a reliable target for older brother Damon Mitchell.

Damon, who accounted for nearly 3,300 total yards and 42 touchdowns that season, is now a redshirt freshman at Arkansas. He was one of the first to find out about his younger brother's Florida State offer.

"He told me to make sure I get it done in the classroom and enjoy the process because it's going to be a long road," Ahmir Mitchell said. "He just told me how proud he was of me."

Credit: 247Sports
Damon Mitchell, Ahmir's older brother, went through a high-profile recruitment as a 2013 prospect.

Ahmir said his mother was the first person he contacted after picking up the offer. His surprise paled in comparison to the reaction he received from her.

"I texted her as soon as I got the offer, and she was really surprised about it," Mitchell said. "She texted me back like, 'Ahmir, you're lying. You did not get offered by them. I need a call from Coach Watson to confirm this.' She was more excited than I was. For my mom to finally have both of her sons go through this experience is just really overwhelming."

The shock didn't come because Mitchell thinks he's undeserving of high-level opportunities. It's due to the fact that Florida State seemingly showed up out of nowhere to offer him at such an early stage of his recruiting process.

"I was actually really surprised," Mitchell said. "I usually get a lot of letters and interest from a college before I get to the stage where they would offer me. Florida State sent me one letter—I thought they were just trying to invite me to a camp or something like that."

Game film was apparently good enough for the Seminoles to pull the trigger.

Mitchell emerged as a feared all-around playmaker in 2013, leading Cedar Creek throughout an 8-2 campaign that culminated with the team's first conference title. He starred on both sides of the ball, lining up at receiver, safety and quarterback in special packages.

His sophomore season featured 380 receiving yards and seven scores on 15 receptions, per NJ.com. He also rushed for 441 yards and six touchdowns, averaging more than eight yards per carry.

Mitchell flashed big-play ability on special teams, scoring three times as a kick returner.

"I feel as though I'm an all-around athlete, so I really don't mind playing any position on the field," he said.

Rutgers, Old Dominion and Virginia have also offered the underclassman. Those three programs, along with Florida State, are in accordance with how they'd like to implement Mitchell at the next level.

"My offers right now are all for wide receiver, so it seems like the college coaches see me as a receiver at the next level," he said. "They know a lot more than I do."

Based on the momentum building in his recruitment, expect several teams to follow suit with offers in the near future.

Mitchell mentioned South Carolina, Boston College, Temple and Penn State as programs that have maintained communication. He could see himself spending time on each campus and anticipates further dialogue with coaches.

"Those are some schools that are interested in me, and I'm interested in them," Mitchell said.

Collegiate interest is escalating quickly for the sophomore from a school that didn't exist before this decade. With the spotlight suddenly shining brighter than ever, he's enjoying the ride and keeping things in perspective.

"I'm just taking it slowly, doing what I got to do in the classroom, on the field and off the field," Mitchell said. "I'm just blessed to have this opportunity to even be offered. A lot of kids don't get this opportunity, especially at this age."

 

All quotes obtained firsthand by B/R recruiting columnist Tyler Donohue unless otherwise noted.

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