Mitchell may be state's best athlete

There may not be a better athlete in the state than New Iberia (La.) Westgate product Jared Mitchell.

Mitchell, a 6-0, 195-pounder with 4.5 speed, was a standout quarterback for the Tigers but is being recruited as a wide receiver or defensive back at the college level. As a senior, he was a true dual-threat as he totaled over 2,200 yards of total offense with over 1,000 of those yards on the ground.

Along with starring on the gridiron, Mitchell is also one of the top high school baseball prospects in the country and is projected by nearly all of the pro baseball scouting services to go in the first three rounds of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft in June.

Mitchell was one of several blue-chip recruits that were in Baton Rouge over the weekend for an official visit and Tiger Rag caught up with him while he was on his way home to see how the trip went.

"It was real nice," he said. "It went real good. If I had to rate it, I'd give it a 9 or 10. It was a pretty good visit."

This wasn't Mitchell's first rodeo as he had been to LSU many times in the past. However, in the past all of his tours centered around the athletic facilities while this latest trip gave him a chance to see more that LSU has to offer.

"The campus and the academic center was real nice," Mitchell said.

"Before this weekend I really only had the chance to see all of the athletic facilities so I knew they were top-notch. This time, though, I got to see a lot of things pertaining to the academic side."

LSU true freshman running back R.J. Jackson was his player host for the weekend and according to Mitchell they just spent a lot of time hanging out.

However, on Saturday night, all of the recruits, along with their parents, the LSU coaches and some of the Tiger players got together and had dinner at the Stadium Club to chow down on some of T.J. Ribs' world famous ribs.

"Those ribs were good," Mitchell said. "Those things were real good."

LSU head coach Les Miles took some time during the trip to sit down one-on-one with Mitchell to talk about how he fits into the program.

Naturally, the talk of baseball came up but not in the context that many would think.

"He (Miles) was just expressing his interest and how things would work out for me," Mitchell said. "We talked a lot about receiver but he also mentioned in a joking way of playing corner. I don't know how serious he was about that.

"We also talked about how I would be able to play both football and baseball in college. They understand the situation with baseball and how much I like it so they are cool with it. We really didn't even talk about pro baseball other than him letting me know that he is aware that the possibility exists."

That possibility does exist in a big way and there is a very good chance that Mitchell will have a tough decision to make next June.

Several schools backed off of Mitchell during recruiting due to the uncertainty surrounding his future but he did land offers from Ole Miss, South Carolina and Texas A&M in addition to his LSU tender. As of now, though, the Tigers only have one school to worry about.

"I'm visiting South Carolina (1/13) and then sometime shortly after that I'll make my decision," said Mitchell. "It's down to LSU and South Carolina and that is pretty much it."

Mitchell has remained open to all of the schools recruiting him but he had always said that LSU was at the top of his list

Did this visit propel the Tigers into his No spot?

"I wouldn't't say that because I haven't seen South Carolina yet but it did open my eyes a little more," he said.

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