April 11, 2011

Tide offers in-state LB

LEEDS | The state of Alabama has a lot of high profile recruits in the 2012 recruiting class, but there is also a lot of under-the-radar type players like Leeds, Ala. linebacker Javierre Mitchell, who is just now emerging as a major prospect.

Mitchell, who already had offers from Auburn, Southern Miss and UAB, picked up an offer from the University of Alabama on Friday when he was in Tuscaloosa to watch practice.

"It was a good experience for me," Mitchell said. "I got to see how they practice. I love how they practice. It was organized, and everybody got a lot of reps in. I like the intensity that they showed me during the practice."

After practice, Mitchell talked with Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban who told him Alabama was going to offer him a scholarship.

"He was pumped when Coach Saban came over and talked to him," Mitchell's head coach Keith Etheridge said. "Saban not only said he was going to offer him, but he actually gave him a great compliment and said that (Javierre) was one of the top players that he's seen on tape all year."

As a junior at Leeds High School, Mitchell played on the defensive line where he made 37* tackles for loss and recorded 12 sacks. However, at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Mitchell is projected to move back and play linebacker at the college level.

"(Coach Saban) told me he wasn't really sure where I would play, but when I go down to the Alabama camp, he would see when he evaluates me," Mitchell said.

Etheridge believes Mitchell has the ability to play anywhere on defense and has even entertained the idea to put Mitchell on the offensive side of the ball this season at Leeds.

"He's got unbelievable speed coming off the line, and his motor runs all the time," Etheridge said. "He loves football. He loves, lives it. Everyday he wants to come in and learn more because he's only played for two years.

"He's such a great athlete. He can run, jump, and he's just now learning the position of outside linebacker."

Mitchell, who actually grew up in Tennessee as a Volunteers fan, has Alabama and Auburn on top for his recruitment. He made two trips down to Tuscaloosa last fall for the Penn State and Florida games.

"The fan base and the intensity, I just love it," Mitchell said. "Their fans carried the team to a victory."

Etheridge believes Mitchell will make a decision before the season starts.

On Sunday, Mitchell worked out at the Alabama Rivals/VTO Sports Elite 100 Camp where he was named one of the top performers at the linebacker position. Video of Mitchell from the camp will be up this week.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com

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