Hillside High School in Durham, NC hasn't had the season that many envisioned earlier in the year, but that can't be blamed on the play of safety Jared Mitchell. While the Hornets have limped to a 3-5 record, Mitchell has been one of the few bright spots and, as a result, has received serious recruiting interest from several schools around the region.
After compiling 83 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions as a junior, Mitchell has been equally impressive in 2005. Through the first eight games of the year, the senior DB has recorded roughly 90 tackles, five pass breakups and one pick on defense and has scored a touchdown and collected better than 100 yards receiving as a tight end on offense.
At 6-3, 185 pounds and boasting 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Mitchell has yet to receive his first, solid scholarship offer although several schools are keeping an extremely close eye on him.
"Right now I'm hearing the most from East Carolina, Vanderbilt, NC State and Duke," Mitchell said. "Georgia Tech has just started contacting me. I would say East Carolina is talking me up the most right now. But I'd just like to get an offer. All the schools seem real close to pulling the trigger and I'm just ready for it to happen."
While he waits for that first elusive offer, Mitchell has formulated a fairly solid top three list.
"I would say my top three schools are NC State, East Carolina and Vanderbilt."
Mitchell camped with State over the summer and he was on hand for the Pack's disappointing loss to Clemson. He talked about the Wolfpack.
"I really like the coaches there," said Mitchell. "I know you've got to work hard and, if you do, they won't lead you wrong. Steve Dunlap is recruiting me. He's the LB coach so he has that crazy mentality. Whenever I talk to him he gets me real hyped up but he's a good guy and a good friend of mine."
Mitchell has yet to set any official visits but hopes to do that in the near future. He is a fine student- boasting a 3.6 GPA and having scored a 950 on the old SAT. He will take the new SAT later this year.