Mitchum a top target

Kyle Mitchum is down to three schools -- Ohio State, Iowa, and Michigan -- and he's one of the top recruiting targets for each school. Kyle's head coach, John Cacchione, talks about what makes Kyle a special player and why he is considering those three schools.

Landing Kyle Mitchum of Erie (Pa.) McDowell High School would significantly bolster any recruiting class and three schools are still very much in the running for his services. Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan are the schools Mitchum is still considering going into the holiday season.

"He's by far the best lineman we've ever had," said McDowell head coach John Cacchione. "He's got great explosiveness and he's very strong. He's a 400-pound bencher and a near 500-pound squatter so he's got all the tools."

According to Cacchione, Mitchum played on both sides of the ball equally well in high school.

"He's got such great upper body strength and he's just relentless on offense," Cacchione said. "He just blocks and blocks and blocks, and he just frustrated people quite a bit because he blocks the whole play. And he's very mobile; he's just got the whole package. Without belaboring it, he's got the whole package. And he's a hell of a defensive player too. We think he's pretty darn good on that side of the ball too.

"He's a great team leader and he's a team captain for us. He's everything we've ever had and more."

Cacchione actually thinks that Mitchum could play two-ways in college, at least "in a pinch."

"I think he can play on both sides," Cacchione said. "I think most of the schools recruiting him were looking at him on offense but there were a lot of schools that recruited him on defense too. The schools remaining on his list I think primarily have him on offense but he's athletic enough and tough enough that he'd be one of those guys that, in a pinch, could play on both sides.

"We don't have a lot of guys that play both ways in our program and he's played both ways for us for three years."

And Mitchum is versatile enough to play almost anywhere along the offensive line, be it guard or tackle.

"I'm sure he can play both positions on offense," Cacchione said. "For us, he's a tackle because obviously he's the biggest guy on our team. But there's no doubt he can play guard as well."

Regardless of which position he eventually plays in college, Cacchione thinks Mitchum would be comfortable playing under each of the remaining coaching staffs.

"The schools that he has it down to are there because of the coaching staffs. He thinks the world of the coaching staffs," said the coach, who mentioned that Mitchum was with Jim Bollman, Joe Daniels and Mark Snyder on Wednesday afternoon. "He thinks the world of those guys, and he thinks the world of Coach Tressel. And the same with the Iowa guys and the same with the Michigan guys. That's really what it comes down to for him; the three schools that he has left are the schools that he is most fond of their coaching staffs."

Despite the adulation that the coaches and others have bestowed upon him this recruiting season, Cacchione thinks that Mitchum has handled the situation very well.

"He's impressed with everything, but he's kept it all in perspective," the coach said. "He's just trying to make sure he goes to the place that he wants to go to the most. But he's nearing the end, and I think he's looking forward to the end of the process and getting ready to move on to the next big chapter. He's got a lot of football left in him."

And to the Buckeye fans who have an interest in Mitchum being in scarlet and gray next season?

"As his coaching staff, we are really, really impressed by everything that their (OSU) coaching staff is," Cacchione said. "Their recruitment of Kyle is top shelf. It's been as first class as anything that I've ever encountered in my 20 years of coaching high school football. I think the world of their coaching staff, and we're very comfortable with them being in the position that they're in with Kyle. If he decides on Ohio State, that's certainly a decision that we'll be very, very comfortable with."

However Cacchione wouldn't quite go a step further and mention exactly where Mitchum just might be leaning, whether it be OSU or either of the other two, at this time.

"I think you're going to see a decision come sometime in early January, but I wouldn't go there with the leaning stuff right now," the coach said. "But he thinks the world of Ohio State, there is no question about it; they're certainly one of his top choices."

Mitchum has been to both Iowa and Ohio State on an official visit and will go to Michigan for his official visit there in January.

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