Today, Ohio State added another key piece to its highly ranked 2018 recruiting class, bringing another talented prospect to Urban Meyer’s program. What will the Buckeyes’ latest verbal, Teradja Mitchell, bring to Columbus, on and off the field?
A day after gaining its 11th commitment of 2018, Ohio State picked up commitment No. 12 in the current recruiting cycle when 4-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell ended his recruitment and issued a verbal commitment to Ohio State, He chose the Buckeyes over the Florida State Seminoles and more than 30 other scholarship offers.
What are they getting from this big addition? Let’s take a look.
As a football player
A longtime 5-star prospect, Teradja Mitchell has every natural instinct you could – and would – want from an inside linebacker.
Mitchell’s presence in the middle of the Bishop Sullivan (Virginia Beach, Va.) defense was one of anchor, solidifying an exceptional unit by being a steady, reliable figure. At 6-foot-2, 243-pounds – his listed weight at a recent Nike combine – he looks the part of a college middle linebacker already, though some have used what is perceived as “bad weight” against him in the national recruiting rankings.
Back in the summer of 2013, a former Ohio State linebacker named Raekwon McMillan experienced a similarly confusing ratings drop. After a summer back on the camp circuit and an adjustment to new diets and workouts, McMillan regained his 5-star status, and I think a similar future could be in store for Mitchell.
One of his assistant coaches at Bishop Sullivan said he believes that those who have perceived him negatively over the last few months may be in for a surprising revelation.
“He’s naturally going to be a big kid,” his coach shared. “Every male related to him is at least his height and 240-plus pounds. Including his uncle, Eli Harold of the San Francisco 49ers. I can tell you this: he’s now 235 pounds, with proper dieting.”
Big, strong against the run and reliable, that’s some of what Mitchell brings, but that’s not all. He’s also a smart, instinctive linebacker, and this assistant coach has lofty expectations of him.
“He’s a very cerebral player and he has a great feel for the game,” his coach continued. “He’s a mixture of old school and new school. He plays violent and he loves to work. He comes from an awesome pedigree of football. Whoever gets him is getting a future Hall of Fame player.”
His role in the 2018 recruiting class
Mitchell made overtures about a commitment to the Buckeyes following his April trip to Columbus and since then, has been very close with a number of Ohio State commitments, most notably Jaelen Gill.
The 12th commitment in the 2018 class, Mitchell’s addition increases Ohio State’s lead on Penn State as the Big Ten’s best class and moves Buckeyes ever so close to Miami in the chase to become the nation’s No. 1 overall group. All 12 of the Buckeyes verbals are ranked inside the top 300 nationally, and Mitchell’s pledge means Ohio State holds six of the current Top 40 players in America.
Mitchell joins Toledo (Ohio) St. John’s 4-star prospect Dallas Gant as the second pure linebacker to join new assistant coach Bill Davis’ group. He’s the Buckeyes first commitment from Virginia in 2018, and Ohio State’s class now includes players from eight states. That includes Maryland, the original home of Taron Vincent, who plays at Florida’s IMG Academy.
Zach Smith has been the primary recruiter for Mitchell, but in recent months, he’s been joined by Davis and Urban Meyer as Ohio State has tried to lock things down.
The off-the-field intangible stuff
To recruit in a talented football area such as Virginia Beach is always a big deal, and obviously this case is no exception considering we’re talking about a player with 5-star potential in Mitchell. To go into that area and to beat Florida State for said player is a whole different story and is just one more piece of evidence that the Ohio State brand is bigger than ever.
As for the country’s 38th-ranked player himself? Similar to the aforementioned McMillan, Ohio State is getting a leader on and off the field.
“Kids like to be around Teradja,” another source close to this recruitment shared with Land of 10. “He’s a lead-by-example guy, actions more than words, but he’s not quiet or reserved. He fits in very well with the culture of a place like Ohio State.”