Coach speak: Mitch Hyatt

SUWANEE, Ga. - Bob Sphire has sent off more than a fair share of his players off to major college football, so it's not hard for him to recognize talent.

OT Mitch Hyatt Profile

Early on, it was apparent that Mitch Hyatt was going to be a good one.

"I really knew coming out of middle school, what I'd seen down there and what potential he had and the temperament that he had for the game, which is so huge, to be able to play early in the program," Sphire told CUTigers on Wednesday night.

"But I really knew, the spring of his freshman year going into his sophomore year…that we needed to get him on the field. We made a commitment as a staff to get him ready to go. He started from the first snap of his sophomore year on."

His first game as the starting left tackle for North Gwinnett was in the Georgia Dome against Colquitt County.

"He did great. That's when it really all started," Sphire said. "All of the [college] coaches…they were like, whoa. Then, we turned around, by the time we got to [Robert] Nkemdiche and those guys in the playoffs, he caught everybody's eye."

The game against Nkemdiche "put it over the top" for Hyatt.

"[Hyatt] kept Nkemdiche from really doing anything," Sphire said. "They ended up having to move Nkemdiche around to try to find a soft underbelly somewhere else."

The edge that Hyatt plays with on the field stays there.

"He's a very introverted, unassuming, very sensitive and a very proud young man, but he's what I like to say, he's not a recruiting thrill-seeker," Sphire said. "He has no interest in getting on a plane and flying somewhere like Oregon because they've got some cute jerseys. He's just not into that kind of thing at all.

"He would rather just be with his teammates playing the game of football. This whole process is kind of a necessary evil, and I think he had such a positive feel for Clemson coming into this thing that it was kind of like they had to drop the ball to lose him, and they've done a great job recruiting him.

"So, he's at the point now, ‘There's no more I need to know. I'd rather just be up front with what I know and what I feel. That's where I want to go play. Let's go get ready for next fall.'"

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