Tigers jump on 2011 DT

Clemson picked up a commitment from 2010 defensive lineman Tavaris Barnes this past weekend and the Tigers are hot on the trail of one his First Coast High School teammates.

DT Derrick Mitchell Profile

While in Jacksonville prior to the official visit, Clemson wide receiver coach/recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott put in an offer to a 2011 First Coast defensive lineman.

Hearing Tavaris Barnes give rave reviews about his first trip to Clemson, Mitchell now has an increased interest in the Tigers.

CUTigers recently caught up with Mitchell to see what he'd heard from Barnes after his big trip to Tigertown.

"I talked to him Monday and Tuesday. He thought it was beautiful there," Mitchell said. "When the coach came to our school, he talked real highly of Clemson. He was like; both of us could have early playing time. And Tavaris fell in love with it, he said. It really was as nice as he made it out to be. He wasn't lying to us."

Now that he's got someone he knows and trusts saying all these good things about Clemson, Mitchell said, "It makes mean lean a little bit more towards Clemson than I already was."

He would like to head to Clemson this spring for one of the two junior days, whether it's the second, which is scheduled along with the spring game, or the one prior.

"I've got to talk to my coach about it, my parents and everything," Mitchell said. "I'm going to talk to all them and see when they think is the best time to come."

Along with Clemson, he'll try to make junior days at Florida State, Georgia Tech and Georgia. Mitchell's been offered by Florida State, South Carolina, North Carolina, Illinois and Florida International.

He wouldn't mind picking up offers from Georgia, Miami, Florida and Alabama.

"Alabama--that's one my coach said could be on the verge of giving me one. I was counting on that," Mitchell said.

The only unofficial visits he's been on are to a couple of Florida State games, which he attended last season.

"I don't have a favorite, one over the other. I'm taking it slow right now," Mitchell said.

Along with his training at the HIT Center in Jacksonville, Mitchell said his lower body strength gives him an advantage along with his size. At the High Intensity Training Center, he regularly works on improving his leverage and how to shift his body weight.

"I think I do more than just clog the hole. I think I'm more like a playmaker," Mitchell said.

As a junior, he said he made 70 tackles and had five or six sacks.

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