December 26, 2007

Mitchell outlines visit dates

Although rated a four-star prospect since last summer, Clarksdale, Miss. defensive back Charles Mitchell went through his senior season with just two offers - from Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

After a strong showing last week in the Mississippi - Alabama All-Star game in Mobile where he received honorable mention from Rivals.com recruiting experts as the best tackler, Mitchell has picked up an offer from Nebraska and substantial interest from several additional schools.

Alabama has joined Southern Miss and Memphis in showing interest and both the latter two schools apparently will get visits from Mitchell, although neither has offered yet.

"I'm going to Nebraska on Jan. 11, Mississippi State on Jan, 18, Memphis on Jan. 25, and to Southern on Feb. 1," Mitchell said Tuesday evening.

Mitchell, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds and a Rivals250 prospect, previously said he was going to visit Ole Miss on Jan. 11, but plans for that visit have been changed to accommodate a Nebraska trip.

Nebraska has come on strong since former LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini took over as head coach. Mitchell camped at LSU last summer and was hoping for an offer from the Tigers, but one has yet to materialize. However, after a strong showing in LSU's camp last summer, Pelini has wasted no time in offering.

Although Mitchell has changed plans to visit Ole Miss, he still intends to work in a trip to Oxford if at all possible. However, he says he's familiar with the campus, having previously visited unofficially, including for one game last fall.

While new head coach Houston Nutt has been deliberate in contacting current Ole Miss commitments and prospects offered by the former staff, preferring to wait in most cases to evaluate film as well as to review academic records, Mitchell has had his share of interface with the new staff.

"Coach Nutt, coach (Chris) Vaughn, coach (Kim) Dameron, and coach (Tony) Hughes have all been in contact," Mitchell said.

Since Mitchell's outstanding performance in Mobile, and in-home visit with State coaches, and the coaching change at Ole Miss, rumors have hit the internet that Mitchell is headed to Starkville, and even perhaps privately committed to the Bulldogs.

"That's not accurate," Mitchell said. "I'm still wide open and I don't have any favorites at this time."

Mitchell said that when he does make a decision, it will be based on a feeling, including how he feels about the coaches recruiting him. He said immediate playing time wouldn't necessarily be a factor.

In addition to the all-star attention Mitchell has recently received, another reason the Clarksdale star is getting attention is an improved ACT. Mitchell reports a 19 on his ACT, up from 16, and a 2.9 GPA, which would project him as a full qualifier.

Mitchell said that some Ole Miss commitments in Mobile were doing some active recruiting for the Rebels.

"There was a lot of talk that if all the players from Mississippi went to Ole Miss, it could really be a special team," Mitchell said. "It was the guys committed to Ole Miss talking, but we were listening."

Mitchell's home in Clarksdale has furnished Ole Miss with some top players in recent years, including offensive lineman Terrence Metcalf and Trumaine McBride, both who are currently on the Chicago Bears roster.

The speedy athlete (4.48-second 40-yard dash) rushed for over 500 yards and nine touchdowns as a running back. On defense, he earned first-team all-state honors after tallying 78 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions from his strong safety position.

Mitchell said that college recruiters like his abilities both as a safety as well as a cornerback.



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