James Mitchell had a strong sophomore season last fall and his efforts have led to early scholarship offers from Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech and James Madison, while Clemson, Penn State, Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and Navy are also showing interest.
Although several schools are pursuing him, Mitchell remains open with his recruitment and is evaluating all his options.
The in-state programs -- Virginia and Virginia Tech -- were the first to offer, and he gave a quick thought on each.
Virginia: "The new coaching staff not only stresses football, but being good students and good people," said the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Mitchell. "That's really important and stood out to me."
Virginia Tech: "I like the atmosphere in Blacksburg, not only at just games, but just in general. It's really nice. Coach (Justin) Fuente also had a lot of success at Memphis and I feel like he will do that at Virginia Tech as well."
Duke was the latest school to pull the trigger.
"They offered in July and like all offers, it means a lot," Mitchell said. "It's a prestigious school. It's a great school academically and academics are very important to me. They actually offered me when I visited this summer. It was a great trip. I got to see the facilities and talk to most of the coaches.
"I like the direction that the program is headed. Over the last few years, they have eight to nine wins. That's very impressive considering where they were when coach (David) Cutcliffe took over and there's a lot of excitement around the program. I plan on visiting again."
A few weeks later, he visited Virginia Tech.
"It was my second time there and I really enjoyed it," Mitchell said. "They had a cookout for all the top targets. My favorites part was being around the coaches and other recruits.
"I spent the most time with (tight ends) coach (James) Shibest. He told me they wanted me at Virginia Tech and then we watched film of how they're going to use their tight ends. I'm going back to visit soon."
Other than Duke and Virginia Tech, Mitchell said he hopes to visit Virginia and Notre Dame this fall.
Union is 1-0 and continues their season Friday on the road against Richlands at 7:30 p.m.