C.J. Mizell possibly may be one of the top 2 or 3 linebackers in the nation. Scout.com's Miller Safrait says that had he played last year, he would've been one of the top players in Georgia. Now that he has transferred to Leon High in Tallahassee, C.J. now is one of the top players in the state of Florida in 2009. With the commitment, FSU adds another talented linebacker to the great tradition the Seminoles have seen from that position. Mizell decided today to end his recruiting process quickly, and for him he couldn't be happier. "It feels good. I did it earlier today. I really like the talent at the school that they've brought in and I like the coaches and the program. FSU was always one of the top schools for me. I never really looked at Georgia because I didn't like how they ran things. It was mostly FSU and South Carolina that I was looking at," expressed Mizell.
Even though Mizell is a linebacker, his primary recruiter is running backs coach Dexter Carter. Mizell states that the two have a great relationship, and that Carter was a reason why he decided to commit to FSU. He said, "Dexter Carter is my recruiter. We get along well and he is a pretty good coach. He was straight up with me this whole time, telling me about the program and how things operate. It wasn't like some of these other schools were coaches tell you what you want to hear. I liked how he was honest and straight up with me."
Carter isn't the only coach from FSU that C.J. has had contact with. Throughout the process he's spoken to future head coach Jimbo Fisher and linebackers coach Chuck Amato. "I talked to Coach Fisher and Coach Amato too," said Mizell. "They were pretty much saying the same things that Coach Carter was saying. They were consistent about it so I knew it must've been true. I feel like Coach Fisher will bring FSU back."
Mizell chose the Seminoles over offers from Georgia, South Carolina and many other schools. For him there really was no other school he really considered other than FSU. He told NoleDigest, "I never really thought about the other offers. My old coach used to tell me you aren't big-time unless you get the offer from FSU. When I got the offer I thought I had made it. With the mail I was getting and the offer, I knew where I was going. Also, I wanted to get the process over. I didn't like it too much, and I knew what I wanted."
Mizell will add to the talent FSU has at linebacker with Nigel Bradham, Nigel Carr and Kendal Smith. Mizell is a ferocious talent who reminds some of Derrick Brooks and Ernie Sims. He says he just wants to come in and compete. "I just want to come in a play. Most people have been looking at me as a middle linebacker. I'm all about playing where the team needs me. I think I can play both outside and inside, but wherever I fit in at FSU is where I'll play. I'm a team player and want to do what is best for the team," stated Mizell.
Much has been made about what happened with C.J. at his previous school in Georgia. Now that he is at Leon, he is looking to move forward from it. He said, "Things happened and I'm working through them. I'm happy I chose Leon. I say schools like Lincoln and Rickards; they were nice and good schools, but I liked the surroundings and it's a good school. Overall I just liked it better, and I'm happy I'm here."
Some fans may think that the early commitment from Mizell leaves him open to still being recruited. Like he said, he knew where he wanted to go, and he really isn't a player who enjoyed the process so far. He told NoleDigest that he's firm with his decision, saying, "I'm 100% committed to FSU. It's where I'm going and where I want to be. I'm going to help recruit as much as I can. We need all the players we can get. I'm going to start with James Green, Andrew Carter and Austin Dantin here at Leon. I've been telling them they need to go to FSU."
With his commitment out of the way, C.J. intends on working hard and getting ready for his first action in over a year. He describes himself as a player, saying, "I'm hard working, competitive and want to be the best at what I do. I need to work on my speed, though. I run a 4.5 but I need to get faster for the college level. Also I'm 215 pounds right now, so I need to add weight. I'm 6'3", so I want to add on and get ready. We have a good set-up here at Leon, so I think I'll be ready."
For C.J. this is a chance at redemption, and it's a chance to prove the doubters in Georgia wrong. He knows that, and appreciates the opportunities he's getting at Leon and down the line at FSU. "I just want to say thanks to the coaches at Leon and FSU for sticking with me. Also, look out for Columbus Mizell," expressed Mizell.
Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with C.J. and the rest of the 2009 recruiting class.