How Good is Joe Mixon?

No one came in to the Passing Down Best of the West 7on7 tournament Sunday with a bigger rep than Oakley (Calif.) Freedom running back Joe Mixon. Not only did Mixon justify his lofty status, he blew it out of the water...

It's not often you can call a player ranked the No. 34 prospect in the nation underrated but that may be the case with athlete Joe Mixon. He was simply incredible on both sides of the ball and could be rated a 4 star recruit, at least, at running back, receiver and safety.

He was the most dominant receiver in this event and it wasn't close. He made spectacular catches throughout the event and showed great top end speed running by defensive backs all day. He battled through a sore foot and never left the field showing a high level motor and competitiveness you don't always see from the big name athletes.

Mixon had a chance to check out USC and UCLA the day before Passing Down and gave both visits high marks.

"I was at USC for about four hours," Mixon said. "I had been to Junior Day but this visit was cool because it was just the four of us from my team visiting and we spent a lot of time with the coaches. A lot of it was academics, we talked about the support they give, talked about my transcripts and the alumni support they offer.

"I spent a lot of time with Coach Kiffin, Coach O (Ed Orgeron) and the RB coach, Coach Robinson. Coach Robinson and I broke down film and I like him a lot. He came from Miami and has an NFL background. He told me I'm their top guy at running back and they like me a lot.

"I know they took two pretty elite backs last year but that doesn't matter to me. I fully believe that wherever you go, the best players will play. I enjoy competing and I think I can play as a freshman no matter where I go."

Following the visit, Mixon headed over to the Rose Bowl for UCLA's Spring Game.

"We didn't have time to see the campus but the Rose Bowl was a real nice experience," Mixon said. "I liked the environment a lot and we got to go in to the locker room before the game and watch the players get all hyped up for the game.

"I got to spend a lot of time with Coach Mora and Coach Broussard and I could tell they were really excited to see me. Jonathan Franklin was there but I didn't get to talk to him. That's cool that he came out though, he just got drafted and still wanted to come out and show his support. The coaches told me I'm the top back on their board and I like UCLA a lot, they're very high on my list."

Mixon, who has narrowed his list to 16 schools, said he doesn't have any other visits planned right now outside of the Nike Camp in Oakland May 19.

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for
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