How close is 6-3, 300-pound holdover?

SINCE JANUARY, ALEX MITCHELL has been hitting the books in an effort to get qualified and head up to Washington State for fall camp. How is the 6-3, 300-pounder out of Portland faring in that regard? And does Mike Leach see him taking wide splits on the offensive line, or hunkering down at the nose on the 3-4 defensive front?

Mitchell, a holdover from the 2011 WSU recruiting class, says things are going swimmingly in his quest for academic qualification.

"I'm doing really, really well in my classes. I have an A in one class, and a B in my other class. I have two weeks to go and then that's it. Next week I take a final, the week after that I have a review, and then sometime after that grades come out. So after that I should be all set," said Mitchell.

MITCHELL SAID HE anticipates arriving at WSU in late June with incoming recruiting class members to begin the Cougs' summer bridge program, getting a head start before semester classes and fall camp.

There was some talk back when Paul Wulff was the coach that Mitchell might get a look on the d-line for the Cougs. But that was then, said Mitchell.

Mitchell said that when he talked to Mike Leach and Clay McGuire, it was clear that he would be coming in as an offensive guard for WSU.

MITCHELL WILL HAVE some rust to shake off. He last played at Jefferson High in Portland in 2010 -- save for an all-star game, the Les Schwab Bowl, in June of 2011.

But he did wrap up his prep career on high note, racking up about 150 pancake blocks his senior season.

As a senior, he squatted 575 pounds, with a bench of 345-pounds along with a 24-inch vertical jump.

He would have been more heavily recruited during the '11 cycle were it not for questions about academic clearance. Still, he appeared all but in when WSU gave him the green light to come to campus this past fall camp. However, the NCAA eventually disagreed with WSU's academic assessment and Mitchell headed back to Portland.

He says it will be a satisfying moment indeed when he does receive that final NCAA clearance this time around.

"I'm excited, I'm doing great in my classes and I can't wait to get up there," said Mitchell.

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