In the film room...Ahmir Mitchell
• Statistics: Credited with 47 receptions for 872 yards (18.5-yard average) and 12 touchdowns as a junior at Cedar Creek. Scored eight more touchdowns on runs (five), kick returns (two) and interceptions (one).
• Assets: An aesthetically-pleasing athlete in full stride. Excellent length with swallow-the-football hands, a beautiful yet powerful running stride, and the agility to make twisting/turning catches while staying on his feet. Excellent balance. Gets to full speed quickly after making the catch. Shows quality ball skills with the ability to high-point passes, both as a receiver and a safety. A top-notch tracker of the football.
Consistently shows good leg drive and hip/lower body strength. A gliding yet powerful running stride with deceptive breakaway speed, due largely to an uncomplicated running motion with no wasted movement. Shows vision in traffic. Shows an explosive gear turning the football upfield on turnout routes.
Versatile football player who shows the ability to pick his way through traffic as a running back. Will lower the pads to take on defenders, but also can get it into gear and run away from people. Very effective use of a stiff arm, sometimes two or three times on the same reception/run.
• Room for improvement: Not a 4.4 guy, but plenty fast with his no-nonsense running style and great lower-body strength that propels him past pursuers. Nothing glaring to critique.
• Scholarship offers: Notre Dame. Pac 12: None; ACC: Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech; Big Ten: Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State, Rutgers; Big 12: None; SEC: Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina
• Early line: Mitchell’s original top eight included Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Rutgers, South Carolina and Virginia Tech with Mississippi and Penn State rounding out his top 10.
On Friday, March 6, Mitchell announced a top six in order: Rutgers, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Mississippi and Michigan.
“With Rutgers being in the Big Ten and going into their second year, it definitely changes the game for them,” said Mitchell’s high school coach, Tim Watson. “He is definitely giving them a look and likes them a lot.”
Mitchell’s older brother – quarterback Damon Mitchell – chose Arkansas over Rutgers a few years back. Arkansas is on Ahmir’s offer list, but hasn’t cracked the upper echelon under consideration.
The younger Mitchell indicated that Rutgers, Ohio State and Notre Dame are recruiting him the hardest.
• ND’s 2015 receiver recruiting: Nearly 40 offers for wide receivers have been extended by Notre Dame – the most of any position so far. Nine of those offers have gone to members of Scout’s top 100 players in the country.
In addition to Mitchell, the Irish have made early targets out of five-star Tyler Vaughns (La Puente, Calif.), and four-stars Devin Duvernay (Sachse, Texas), Javon McKinley (Corona, Calif.), Austin Mack (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Donnie Corley (Detroit), Justin Layne (Cleveland), and Tre Nixon (Viera, Fla.), among many others.
• ND’s 2016 wide receiver depth chart: The changing of the guard will be arriving by the fall of ’16 with Amir Carlisle and Chris Brown gone after 2015. Will Fuller, C.J. Prosise and Corey Robinson will be in their final years of eligibility, and Justin Brent and Corey Holmes will possess two years. (Both have been mentioned as potential safety prospects this spring). In their second years in the program will be Miles Boykin, Equanimeous St. Brown, Jalen Guyton and C.J. Sanders.
• Summary: The player does not exist that doesn’t warrant at least some type of critique, but Ahmir Mitchell is a pretty complete package.
His physical strength as a sophomore and junior in high school were exceptional. He has strong hands. He uses a stiff-arm effectively. He has a well-honed running style. He has the agility to twist and turn to make the catch. He achieves full speed quickly after making a reception. He has good vision. He high-points the football well. His ball skills are on a high level.
Simply put, this is a complete wide receiver with a well-rounded game who basically could take his skills to the school of his choice. His leading choice at the present time is Rutgers, whose profile is more appealing to Mitchell as a second-year member of the Big Ten than as a part of the old Big East.
That could change because quite frankly, the offers will continue to roll in. Never discount Ohio State, which is solidly in the mix, while Mississippi continues to turn the eye of skill position athletes throughout the country. Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines made the top six. Look for his recruiting momentum to pick up.
Where Notre Dame ultimately will fit among Mitchell’s hierarchy is a bit of an unknown at the present time. Right now, the Irish sit third in the pecking order. Notre Dame is doing a good job since the completion of the coaching staff of really working the process and getting the word out. That’s now a few times in recent weeks that a recruit has listed Notre Dame as one of the schools pursuing a recruit “the hardest.”
Whether that pays off or not with Mitchell remains to be seen, but it’s a good course for Notre Dame to continue to traverse.