"Right now I want to verbally commit to Ohio State University," Mitchum said. "I'm a Buckeye now!"
Mitchum talked about his decision being a long and arduous process. His first of 67 Division 1-A offers came from Penn State, but they weren't one of his three finalists. In the end he chose OSU over Iowa and West Virginia.
"All of my top three schools were unbelievable and great but all-around Ohio State had everything," Mitchum said. "The stadium, the players, I fit in with the coach. Coach (Jim) Tressel is an all around, unbelievable coach. Everything about the Ohio State atmosphere I totally see myself in. I see myself playing there. I see myself over there for five years. It all came down to a gut feeling but everything about Ohio State I loved. Ohio State is just the place for me all-around and I'm really looking forward to becoming a Buckeye."
I had a chance for a one-on-one with Mitchum to ask him a few questions after the press conference this afternoon. Mitchum is the fifth McDowell Trojan to become a Buckeye following Jeff Davis, Mike Bartoszek, Chris Stablein and Brian Stablein.
Describe your emotions right now?
Mitchum: "It's unbelievable, it's a major relief and I'm just really proud right now. There are so many positive things about my decision and I love everything about it. Coach Tressel is unbelievable and Coach (Joe) Daniels did a great job recruiting me. I really appreciate everything they've done for me and I'm proud to be a Buckeye."
Did you know what you were going to say before you began speaking?
Mitchum: "I knew what I was going to say but it all just came out as words that I meant from my heart. There are so many positive things that I wanted to say to so many people to thank for everything they've done for me."
Why Ohio State?
Mitchum: "Everything about them I loved. I had three unbelievable schools that I really enjoyed everything about them. There are so many positive things that I can say about Coach Ferentz and his program at Iowa and Coach Rodriguez and his program at West Virginia, but from going down to Ohio State so many times I just felt that Coach Tressel was an unbelievable coach and I loved everything about him. Every aspect of Ohio State I just felt like I was a part of and I felt like I fit in. It came down to a gut feeling and everything about Ohio State was me."
You attended the Iowa-Ohio State game, how was that?
Mitchum: "Just going down to that game was great. I saw two good programs going at it and Ohio State came out on top in that game and so it was great. The whole atmosphere was unbelievable. There were 105,000 people there and the whole tradition and how the fans are there is unbelievable. It just made the game twice as better."
Have you known along the way or did you have a team to beat along the way?
Mitchum: "Actually all three schools came up to the last couple of hours before this. It was crunch time and it really came down to the end."
What's the best thing now that you feel about being a Buckeye?
Mitchum: "There's just something about it, I don't know. Everything about Ohio State is just really so much positive stuff to me right now. It just feels really great to be a part of the Ohio State program."
What were you thinking about before you went to bed last night?
Mitchum: "I didn't sleep, I had about two hours of sleep last night. I was tossing and turning and I was afraid to make the wrong decision but I knew I wasn't going to make a wrong decision with all three of these programs. I can say so many positive things about everybody else but there are tons of positive things to say about Ohio State. I love everything about it."
How excited are you now that it's over?
Mitchum: "It's definitely exciting. I've been waiting to make this decision, it's been a long time. It's a relief for me and for my mom from all the phone calls. They're probably going to keep coming but it's just a relief to cut everything back now and let it keep going forward with Ohio State."
Who do you need to thank the most?
Mitchum: "My mom, she's the biggest aspect of my life and everything about it. But recruiting-wise it's Coach John Cacchione, he's been with me since the sixth or seventh grade developing me and teaching me my skills. And my line coach, Coach (David) Grack, was always there teaching me everything about getting to where I'm at. They got me to where I'm at now."
How polished do you feel you are and do you really expect to come in and play right away?
Mitchum: "I'm ready. Coach Tressel and Coach Daniels want me to be a part of the program and get ready to buckle it up and go from the start. So I'm ready to get down there and start doing everything to get ready for the next season."
What happens if you end up redshirting?
Mitchum: "I have no problem with that, that just gives me another extra year to work out and get faster and learn the program twice as good. There's no problem with that but they want me to go in from the start and so I'm going to work hard at it and get ready to do it."
Mitchum: "McDowell won't let you graduate early so I'm going to finish school and enjoy everything in my senior year. And right after I graduate I want to get down to Ohio State and get ready."
What are you feeling now?
Mitchum: "It's just a major relief and I'm just ready to start going at it and learn the offense. I just really want to get down there and be a part of the program."