Mitchum's well traveled

Erie McDowell HS star <b>Kyle Mitchum</b> and his coach just returned home from a long road trip. Which schools did they see? When will he narrow down his choices? Is Penn State still involved?

Name: Kyle Mitchum
Position: OL/DL
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 265 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.08
Hometown/School: Erie, Pa. (McDowell HS)

When you are a highly touted offensive lineman with twenty-one major college offers staring you in the face, what's the best way to see as many schools in the shortest amount of time possible?  Two words--ROAD TRIP!  Unlike the "zany" movie released in 2000 with the same name, Kyle Mitchum set out on his highway adventure with the serious objective of gathering as much information about his potential college destinations as he could.

"Monday I was at Michigan.  Tuesday I was at Ohio State.  Came home for one day Wednesday.  Thursday I went to West Virginia.  Friday was nothing, we just chilled at Virginia.  Saturday we did something at Virginia's school.  And Sunday we went to North Carolina," said a well traveled Kyle, who began the college tour with McDowell Coach Jon Cacchione and a teammate, Dan Sockett, last week.  "I think we drove about 1,400 miles in the past four days.  But we got to see some of the places that offered me."

Does Kyle, who has also been to visit Penn State (on multiple occasions), Pittsburgh, and Syracuse, foresee another road trip in his future this summer?

"I don't know what my coach has going on for sure yet.  He's setting all this up for me," explained Kyle.  "It's an experience of a lifetime.  I'll never get to experience this (again).  It doesn't happen to everybody, so I'm living it up."

Because Kyle's been on the road all summer, he hasn't narrowed his choices down yet, but plans to in the near future.

"I'm just going to use the summer right to do my research.  If we can make some more trips, do that to places that I really start thinking about.  I want to use the summer to narrow down.  I could make my decision at the end of summer or later.  But I want to take my visits too," said Kyle, whose season starts versus Upper St. Clair in late August.

Along with the sights and sounds he experienced on his visits, Kyle has also briefly looked at the depth charts of the schools he likes.

"A little bit.  My coach helps me out with that.  Some schools tell me I could start early.  It really doesn't matter if I redshirt," stated Kyle.

It's been reported that the schools recruiting him have mixed feelings about which side of the ball Kyle is best suited for in college.

"There are only a couple schools hitting me up for defense, like Ohio State and Wisconsin.  Everybody else is still making up their minds because they think I can play on both sides of the ball," said Kyle, who doesn't have a preference.  "Ohio State said there is a possibility I could play end, but they're looking at me for tackle I believe."

Kyle admitted that he has built a great relationship with Penn State defensive coordinator, Tom Bradley, during his recruitment, along with Coach Joe Daniels of Ohio State and Coach Rick Trickett of West Virginia.  He's also had the opportunity to chat with both Joe Paterno and Jim Tressell on various occasions.

Does LionNews' # 7 player in Pennsylvania remain interested in the Nittany Lions?

"Medium interest.  I just like what they've got to offer.  It's a great school.  I love their football, their facilities.  Everyone has great facilities because everyone is trying to get better than everyone else," explained Kyle, who continued that every school currently stands on equal footing until he goes over his pros and cons.

"I actually stayed over night (during a Junior Day event) with one of my buddy's brothers.  They weren't a part of football but I still got to see more of the campus with them.  So they took us out and showed us everything."

Penn State fans are certainly hoping that Kyle has seen enough of their school, so that he spends next summer making a road trip from Erie to State College to begin classes.

(Interview by Steve Curry)

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