Recruiting: No Visitors, But Mitchell Returns

There are no visitors, official or unofficial, scheduled this weekend for Oklahoma State football in its efforts to finish out the 2010 recruiting class. Virtually all of the recruiting class commitments that have not already visited officially on campus will be making their visits on a monster weekend starting next Friday.

This week the Oklahoma State staff was on the road checking on some potential prospects that might be wavering from other schools, while protecting their commitments from recruiting poachers.

At the same time the staff was readying for four newcomers reporting for the start of the spring semester, and you can make that five with the positive report that we received from 2009 signee Joe Mitchell, who had his status repealed by the NCAA Clearinghouse after an academic scandal at his high school involveing several football coaches.

If you remember, Mitchell had been at OSU during the summer and when the scandal broke and three coaches were fired at Katy Morton Ranch High School the 6-3, 215-pound safety had to go home.

We talked to Mitchell last month as he was finishing up his academic work in pursuit of his eligibility. We just spoke to him again Friday and he reports that he has one foot out the door.

"About to be," answered Mitchell when asked if he was on his way to Stillwater. "I am just waiting on the clearinghouse to clear me, and I think I will be in Stillwater no later than Wednesday or Thursday. I got the 'A' I needed to be eligible. I decided the route I would take would be to take Algebra 2 over again and improve my GPA."

Students pursuing eligibility on the sliding scale system can either imporve the GPA by taking a class over again or retake the ACT to improve that test score.

"I feel good, excited," added Mitchell. "I can't wait to get back and play in the spring game and get back to working out with my teammates.

"You know Andrae May and Anthony Rogers would call or test me and make sure I was doing okay, keep up with me. It made me feel really good that I already had teammates that cared for me and were in my corner. The coaches were always texting me or calling me and making sure I was doing what I need to, pushing me to get it done and get back."

Now Mitchell is back to square one. It is almost like he gets to start over. He also has the advantage of knowing what some of it is like such as workouts with strength and conditioning coordinator Rob Glass.

"I don't know if I will be smiling that first week," said Mitchell when asked if he might be the only player in off season with a big smile on his face. "By the second week I will have a big smile going. It was my second chance and I couldn't blow it. All the work has paid off and I can't wait to get going."

Just for review, here are Mitchell's football numbers:
Joe Mitchell, QB/FS
6-3 1/2, 215, 4.56
Katy (Morton Ranch), Texas Bench Press: 275, Squat: 440, VJ: 36"
Stats: Sr. - Rushing 184 att. - 1,197-yards, 12 TDs; Passing 50.4% completions for 1,019-yards, 8 TDs and 2 interceptions Jr. - 63 total tackles, 4 interceptions
Honors: 2nd Team All District 17-5A
Other schools recruiting: Missouri, Kentucky, Tulane, UTEP
Notable: Played quarterback as a senior out of team need, unselfish team leader.
Signing Day Evaluation: Mitchell may need to redshirt making transition back to defense. He is a good player that is physical and team oriented.
,br> Joining Mitchell in Stillwater for the spring semester are junior college cornerback Malcolm Murray, Sand Springs quarterback Johnny Deaton, Celina, Texas linebacker Caleb Lavey, and Derby, Kan. cornerback Devin Hedgepeth.

Other than Mitchell, all of those players had started moving in by Friday.

Sunday opens up another dead period, the last in the recruiting season before signing day as coaches head to Orlando, Fla., for the AFCA Convention. Many of the Oklahoma State coaches have already left or will leave for the convention by Saturday.

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