Florida State has produced some of the best linebackers over the past two decades. A recruit who has all the tools to add his name to that distinguished list is C.J. Mizell, who Scout.com ranks as the 3rd best strong-side linebacker in the country. That distinction is an honor for Mizell, especially because he missed his junior season to some off-the-field stuff. With a change in scenery and a new look on what's important to him Mizell is now at Leon High in Tallahassee, FL getting ready for his senior season.
"I'm officially at Leon now. I have been participating with summer practices and all that. It's been fine and I am very excited to get back to playing football. Coach Ragans has been great for me and I appreciate what he's done for me. I took care of what I had to take care of and I've put that stuff behind me. I can't worry about what people in Georgia think of me. I'm focused accomplishing my goals and succeeding as a person."
Mizell committed to Florida State in February, ending his recruitment earlier than most top prospects usually do. Since his commitment C.J. has been in touch with two coaches at Florida State and says he's happy with the choice he made.
"I love Florida State. I've called and kept in touch with Coach Amato and Coach Carter. We always talk about the academic side of everything. They want to make sure I'm keeping up with that because they know what I bring on the athletic side of things. I have the ability to get my grades and right now I am in a good position."
When Mizell committed to Florida State he talked about ending his process and had hopes of being able to enroll early. After getting the situation in Georgia cleared up and getting his classes transferred into Leon, it looks like C.J. is in fact on pace to get that done.
"I'm firmly committed to Florida State and I am supposed to graduate early. I've had to sit and wait to see what classes transferred in from Georgia to see what I have to take at Leon. I have more than what I thought because the classes I took at Coffee County was different than what is in Florida. Basically the classes were harder so they give me more credit here. I'm in a good position so I think that I'll be able to get that done."
C.J.'s on-field performance has never been questioned. As a sophomore he was one of the best players in the state regardless of class. Now that he is going into his senior season, the big, hard-hitting linebacker with excellent speed hopes to help his team win states, as well as wanting to get ready to make the transition to the next level.
"I want to win states this year. We have a really good team and I think we'll do it. Besides the coaches here that's one reason why I came. This team and school fit what I was looking for. I'm a little out of shape running wise but I'm working on that. I'm working really hard to get faster and get ready for college. I'm 6'3" 228 pounds now. I'd really like to be around 240 when I get to FSU. I'm going to be a beast. My goal after winning the championship is to end up as the number 1 overall prospect this year. I'm going to try to get that. I know I have a lot of work to do because there are so many good athletes out there. I'm going for it, though."
Mizell doesn't have any plans right now to visit, but says he's "definitely" visitng FSU sometime this summer. Stay tuned to NoleDigest as we track Mizell and the rest of the 2009 recruiting class as they prepare for their senior seasons.