Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting.
The South Carolina standard
Four-star tight end James Mitchell checks off a lot of the boxes that the South Carolina coaches look for in a tight end, both on and off the field.
It’s not necessarily a starting point, but the Gamecocks staff likes to recruit tight ends that play basketball once football season is over, and Mitchell does. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound prospect is on the cusp of eclipsing 1,000 career points for Union High School (Big Stone Gap, Va.).
“The way [Mitchell] moves and his agility, his jumping ability,” Union football coach Travis Turner said. “They talked about that, how they like the tight ends to be the basketball-type guys, athletic [with] long arms.”
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On the football field, Turner lets Mitchell do a little bit of everything, in part because he “does the little things” at a high level.
“Very smart, knows how to get open, knows how to stay open in a zone, just an all-around good athlete,” Turner said. “He could play wide out as a split end. He can be an H-back. He can be a running back. He’s just got those tools that he can do different things to help the team.”
Mitchell is ranked by Rivals as the No. 13 tight end in the Class of 2018. That is the position Turner envisions him playing at the next level.
“He’s a great blocker, takes pride in his blocking,” Turner said. “I can see him catching the ball out in the flats, hitting it down in the seam, doing different things. He’s a mismatch problem on linebackers.”
Off the field
Mitchell, despite the notoriety he’s received as a football recruit, hasn’t let the attention get to his head.
“He’s pretty low-key about it,” Turner said. “I think him and his mom and dad have done a great job of maintaining control of the recruiting process and handling that. He doesn’t put a whole lot out there on the social media stuff. … He’s a pretty humble kid.
“He’s a we-guy. He’s team-first. He’s about the team, whatever it takes for the team to win. That’s kind of the way he was brought up with his dad.”
His father, a standout high school basketball player, is a preacher. Mom has a degree from Brown University.
Those smarts were passed down. Mitchell carries a 4.1 GPA.
“He’s just as good off the field as he is on the field. Off the field, he’s a great student-athlete. Academically, very strong. … A high-character kid, great teammate, does the right thing all the time,” Turner said. “He’s got two parents that have done a great job with him.”
After visiting South Carolina in July, Mitchell released a top 5 that also included Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Duke.
Turner said Mitchell plans to take some official visits before reaching a decision in late December or early January.
— James Mitchell (@j_mitch82) July 20, 2017