COMMIT: 300-pound ‘Flat Back' goes crimson

HE DOMINATED THIS season. How else can a senior campaign with 155 pancake blocks be described? And when positive news came in this week on the one thing standing between him and earning a scholie in the Pac-12, he went crimson.

Portland's Alex Mitchell (6-3, 300), a Class 5A first-team All-State selection who verballed to the Cougs this week, says he'll sign with Washington State on Wednesday.

"I will, and I look forward to coming doing there -- tell everyone I'm going to do my best, get my grades right, and do my best to make the team better," said Mitchell, out of Jefferson High.

What's to like about Mitchell? A lot.

"WSU liked that I'm aggressive," said Mitchell. "The offensive line coach there, (Steve Morton), said he really likes how I keep a 'flat back'.

"He told me I was really advanced for what I do out there, and that I have the potential to play early."

His tape shows evidence of a lineman who likes to play tough, physical and nasty. He estimated he had 150 pancake blocks this season. So why weren't more schools coming after him?

MITCHELL HELD FULL RIDES from SMU and Oregon State this season. His prep coach said in September Oregon and Washington were "right on the fringe" of offering, and Nebraska and LSU were "sniffing around." But his grades weren't where they needed to be, (primarily as a result of a poor freshman year), and offers were pulled back and much of the other interest dried up. But when WSU, who Mitchell said has long been recruiting him, just recently got positive news on his first semester grades, things changed. The academic news was positive enough that the Cougs offered this week, and he verballed.

"And they also thought I had committed to Idaho State and had already made my final decision but that wasn't the case. When I've been over there, I've met a lot of really cool people…the college town atmosphere is great and the fans there – they're true fans. Crazy fans. I liked that," said Mitchell, who is also a wrestler.

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