Mitchell, who redshirted at Ohio State last season, is famous for being a 2013 five-star prospect from Plano (TX) Prestonwood Christian with ridiculous measurables and athleticism. He recorded the highest SPARQ score (154.47) ever at Nike's The Opening national championship in 2012. For the uninitiated, SPARQ is a standardized test and acronym which stands for speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness.
Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers, who for years, has covered many of the best prospects the talent-rich midlands region has to offer, was on-hand at The Opening that day when Mitchell turned in his record performance.
"He's just a freak show, a kid who not only has prototypical size, but runs extremely well too," Powers said.
Mitchell is 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and has been consistently clocked at sub 4.5-second 40-yard dash times. That day at the opening he ran a 4.39, which blew everybody's mind.
So how does all of Mitchell's measurables translate on the field?
"He's a throwback style linebacker, one of those guys who when you go to a game and watch him you just enjoy kicking back and seeing what he's going to do," Powers said. "I've seen him a couple of times live. Actually one of the games I went to against Royse City, he had more tackles then any prospect I have ever seen play live with my own two eyes. I think he had 27 tackles that night."
Looking at how Mitchell might fit in at Texas Tech is not a difficult task. If he is granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA which would allow him to play this fall, then he would seem to be a logical choice at the Raider linebacker spot, a feature position in defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt's scheme that requires a special athlete who is capable of being a presence in run support, an effective pass rusher and competent in pass coverage.
Terrance Bullitt, a big, fast, physical athlete who ran out of eligibility after the 2013 season, was a difference maker at the position when healthy.
According to Powers it doesn't matter where Tech plays him, as Mitchell has shown an ability to play every linebacker spot. Just put him on the field.
"I think Mike could play in any scheme," Powers said. "I think he could fit in at any program just because he's big and he's super fast. He's a guy who can play inside, but he actually played outside at the All-American game and proved that he could do that too. He can come in there play inside or outside, it doesn't really matter."
Another aspect to Mitchell choosing Texas Tech is he could be just the first of four standout Mitchell brothers to play for the Red Raiders.
After Mike, there is Mickey, a 6-foot-7, four-star basketball prospect, long considered one of the best forwards of the 2015 class. He's committed to Ohio State and as of Friday night was still considered solid to the Buckeyes, but it is a long time until the first signing period in the fall. Tubby Smith and his staff now have a legitimate shot at landing him.
After Mickey, is Mckinley, an impressive outside linebacker prospect who will be a junior at Plano West in the fall. He already holds an offer from Texas Tech and as RaiderPower.com reported last weekend, he could be a package deal with Mike. In fact, he visited Lubbock on Friday with Mike and their parents.
Great day at Texas tech! GUNS UP???? pic.twitter.com/tyZyzKhzV1— %%MATCH_0%% (@kiwimitchell24) May 30, 2014
The youngest Mitchell brother is Morgan, who is currently in junior high, but already making a name for himself on the gridiron.
"I think it's good to start a pipeline with possibly a family with other kids coming along," Powers said. "The Mitchell's all seem to want to play together and it's good to have Mike maybe start the domino effect. We'll see if that follows with Mickey, McKinley and then Morgan--he's coming up. This could possibly lead to three or four more prospects and not only in football, but could impact the basketball program."
Whether any of his siblings follow Mike to Texas Tech or not, the Red Raiders have added a special talent with at least three years of eligibility remaining, to their defense. If the waiver is approved by the NCAA he'll have four years to play four seasons.
"Something people may not know about Mike is that he is a very dedicated football player," Powers said. "I mean he breathes, eats, sleeps football 100 percent of the time and he's a no-nonsense type of a football player. He's driven to be the best, he's old-school, man, he loves it."