Mitchell Schedules Five Visits

Set to enroll in January, Snow College offensive lineman Andrew Mitchell has set five official visits. Pack Pride has the latest on his recruitment.

Regarded as the No. 1 junior college team in the country, Ephriam (UT) Snow College is coming off a 55-21 victory over No. 4 Eastern Arizona. The Badgers will conclude their season on November 10th before playing a bowl game later this year.

The key to Snow's success has been one of the most prolific offensive attacks in junior college football. The Badgers average 43.6 points per game and the key cog on their offensive line is standout left tackle Andrew Mitchell.

Mitchell almost didn't play football. He sat out his junior season of high school and only suited up as a senior after prodding from his high school coaches. However, his Choctaw, Ok squad suffered that year with just one win and was one of the state's worst 6A programs. Because of that, Mitchell received scant recruiting interest and decided to try junior college in the hopes of gaining more attention.

After a year at Dixie State in St George, Utah, Mitchell, a Mormon, spent the next two years on an LDS mission. Upon returning, he enrolled at Snow Junior College but sat out his first year after suffering a torn ACL.

Over this past summer Mitchell worked out intensely and made major gains in the weight room. He also saw his weight explode. He went from being a 6-5, 240-pound tight end to a 6-5, 300-pound offensive tackle in a matter of months. 6,000 calorie days were the norm and time spent working out with professional trainers began to pay off. Now with his recent success, he is picking up scholarship offers and is one of the most highly recruited junior college linemen in the country.

"Recruiting has picked up for me," said Mitchell. "The big offers are still NC State, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Troy, New Mexico and New Mexico State. I have some from some other small colleges as well, and Arizona State is saying that they are going to offer me on my official visit."

A mid-year enrollee, Mitchell already has his five official visits scheduled, although one might not be firm.

"I have visits set with Arizona, Arizona State, NC State, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State," he stated. "I go to Arizona the 15th of November for their Thursday night game, and then I jump on a flight to Tempe for my Arizona State visit on the 17th.

"The next week I'm going to fly out to NC State on the 23rd for my visit with them. After that is my bowl game, and then on December 7th I go to Oklahoma State. December 14th is when I'm scheduled to go out to Kansas State, but that one might still be up in the air. I know that the University of Kansas and South Florida have shown a lot of interest in the last week so that visit could change."

While he maintains that he is wide open, Mitchell believes that two programs currently stick out in how hard they are recruiting him.

"I really can't say who the leader is," he stated. "I wish I could tell you right now, but I really can't until I see these schools on my visits.

"As far as being persistent I would have to say Oklahoma State. I've been talking with the coaches for a while now and they are really good guys. They are persistent and they are good guys, but I also really like NC State in the way they do their recruiting.

"The NC State coaches are straightforward in expressing their needs on the offensive line, and they come across the right way. I've spoken with coach Bible, coach Horton, and coach O'Brien. They are all really nice guys. You get the impression that they are straightforward and honest. Those are the two that are probably the most aggressive in recruiting me."

One advantage Oklahoma State might have over the others is proximity to home. Mitchell grew up in Oklahoma and even visited the Cowboys for a game prior to heading to Junior College. After spending several years away from home, maybe he is looking to finish his college career back closer to his family. Will distance play a major role in his decision?

"My decision isn't really that much affected by closeness to family," he said. "I've been away from home for a few years now, and I really want to go where I can play right away.

"If I feel like I can play more right away at a place like NC State and I like the coaches and players, then I will go there. For me it really is going to come down to where I can play the earliest. Honestly that is the criteria the most important to me... where I can legitimately compete for a starting job. I'm a two-for-two guy so I have to go where I can play right away if I have any hopes of playing on the next level. Obviously academics are important, but playing time has to be a big factor for me."

Because depth charts play a role for Mitchell, where does he believe he has the best chance to play the earliest?

"I think there's a bigger need probably at NC State," he stated. "It may not be at tackle, but I know there is a need at guard. I just feel NC State has a bigger need all-around, but probably more at guard.

"Arizona has said they need a left tackle. They said left tackle will be your spot, and they are the only one who have said a set position. I think Oklahoma State has some tackles, but they might fit better at guard."

Mitchell maintains that he will likely take all five visits before finalizing his decision the middle of December.

"With it looking like I'm taking all my visits, I plan to sign on Signing Day," he stated. "It's going to be by then.... I believe it's December 17th. The recruiting experience has been eye-opening for me. The more you're recruited the more you learn how the game works, what you're told, and what is really true or just schools trying to get you to go there.

"For me, I want to go to the school that wants me the most, not the school that I want to go to the most. You can get a good idea over the phone, but I'm trying to remain as open as possible until I take all of these visits."

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