This week, we’ve been profiling some of Virginia Tech’s top targets for the Class of 2018. On Thursday, we took a look at 4-star lineman Nana Asiedu. Today, we’ll take another look at an in-state prospect in James Mitchell.
Mitchell is a high-end 3-star recruit out of Big Stone Gap, VA. Mitchell stars for Union High School, which is just under three hours away from Virginia Tech. He’s listed at 6-foot-4, 210-pounds and is ranked as the eighth-best player in Virginia by the 247Sports Composite.
The versatile Southwest Virginia product has 10 scholarship offers to this point, nine of which are Power 5 offers. Clemson, Miami, Ole Miss and Tennessee are some of the more notable programs pursuing Mitchell.
Virginia Tech has made Mitchell a priority for the Class of 2018. Head Coach Justin Fuente has said that there are only a few in-state recruits for this cycle that the Hokies really want, and Mitchell seems to be one of them. Defensive Line Coach Charley Wiles and Tight Ends Coach/Special Teams Coordinator James Shibest are Mitchel’s primary recruiters.
“They’re really down to Earth guys,” Mitchell said. “They’re guys where you can sit down and feel comfortable around and have fun with, joke around with.”
Virginia Tech offered Mitchell in the spring of his sophomore year of high school. Since then, Mitchell has visited campus twice, once for a spring practice and another for a gameday.
“I could tell that whole community really rallies around them and the campus is just on fire on gamedays,” Mitchell said. “I really enjoyed that.”
Mitchell’s size and versatile skill set makes him a valuable asset on the perimeter. He routinely finishes blocks with a certain nastiness that many receivers don’t have. He has good hands downfield and can make plays after the catch. He plays just about anywhere for his high school: receiver, tight end, linebacker and even as a kick and punt returner. Mitchell said he finished last season with 43 receptions for 728 yards and eight touchdowns. He also added 123 yards on the ground and two more touchdowns.
“In high school, I kind of do everything,” Mitchell said. “For my team, I come in and block, go to the X receiver, play a little one-on-one and try to give them mismatch problems. I play the slot a little bit and played H-back sometimes, it just depends on the set.”
For the Hokies, Mitchell could play as a hybrid tight end/receiver, much like Bucky Hodges did for Virginia Tech last season.
“They tell me I could play a lot like Bucky did, because he split out a lot, ran some sweeps for them, some different things,” Mitchell said. “I feel like, as far as fitting in with them, I can kind of do what Bucky did for them and I feel that might be what they have planned for me if I go there.”
It’s still very early in Mitchell’s recruitment, but it’s clear Virginia Tech has gained some traction.
“I’m kind of just staying open,” Mitchell said. “I wouldn’t say there is a group of four or five that I’ve narrowed it down to yet.”
Mitchell hopes to narrow down his list of schools to five or six by the beginning of his senior season. He plans to visit Virginia Tech this spring for a practice.