Tags : Steven Mitchell, USC football recruit, Rivals, USC Trojans, Wide Receiver, Bishop Alemany High
Committed : University Southern California
A Division 1 college football scholarship is a rare commodity. Rarer yet is a D1 scholarship from a high-profile university steeped in football tradition along the lines of a University of Southern California. Takes a special skill-set and significant productivity on the part of a football recruit to garner the attention of the college football elite. A (4.5) 40 is a good start. A max bench press of 300lbs with a personal body weight of just 175lbs doesn’t hurt. On the productivity side, needing just (50) receptions to amass (1,009) receiving yards fits the bill. Taking those (50) receptions a step further in registering a staggering (17) receiving TD’s….now you’ve taken “productivity” to Madden ’12 levels. Steven Mitchell is a 5’11 175lb Wide Receiver graduating with the Class of 2013. His God-given physical gifts are abundant and his ability to make use of the gifts with a football in his hands borders on the absurd. Looking to join the ranks of Keyshawn Johnson, Mike Williams, Lynn Swann, and Dwayne Jarrett, Mitchell committed to the University of Southern California Trojans and looks to add his name to the list of Trojan greats.
As mentioned in previous articles, I love self-awareness. Not only when it comes to areas in need of improvement, but also which it comes to highlighting and accepting areas of personal strength and/or success. When asked to detail what separates him form the average Wide Receiver, Steven Mitchell responded, “My field vision (football IQ) and my shiftiness.” If asked the same question regarding Mitchell I would have listed the same attributes. A few minutes into one of his highlight packages it’s readily apparent Mitchell possesses high-end speed. It’s the manner in which he applies that speed however, which may allow Mitchell to shine at the NCAA level. Although highly elusive, Mitchell appears to rarely break stride once in the open-field. He sets up down-filed blocks exceptionally well and uses subtle shifts in direction (as opposed to huge cuts) when evading would-be tacklers. Mitchell may not always be the fastest on the field, but his ability to remain on-stride insures he consistently out runs opponents. Carrying a 3.6 GPA and a reputed high level work ethic, Mitchell is all about maximizing his talents and each on-field “touch”. An explosive Punt Returner (20yd avg ’11-’12), #4 is simply a nightmare in the open-field and Alemany High’s ’12-’13 opponents should expect plenty of the 4-Star (’13 #63 overall) Mitchell, and in high doses. Not afraid to utilize their speedy wide-out in other position, Alemany’s staff will also feature Mitchell in a hybrid-Tailback role in red zone and short yardage situations. Although not a true “between the Tackles” ball carrier, Mitchell makes use of high-level vision to seek out the needed yardage. Doubt we’ll see this option at the collegiate level, but good chance he’ll have a few more carries as he wraps his High school career.
Although highly accomplished, Mitchell nonetheless has areas of opportunity as he looks to take his game to the next level. 175-180lbs is sufficient at the High school level, but he’d benefit from an additional 10-15lbs in muscle in prep for PAC-12 competition. Mitchell appears to have strong and reliable hands, but there’s a tendency to allow the ball to come to him. High school DB’s are rarely in position to capitalize on this habit, but with each jump in competition level Mitchell’s opponents will be more apt to take advantage. I’d prefer to see Mitchell drive towards oncoming passes thus preventing DB’s from cutting between the WR and the ball. At current he tends to hold his ground or “float” towards oncoming passes. Easily correctable and should not represent a huge area of concern. Mitchell does a nice job keeping the ball in his hand closest to the sideline, but appears to allow the ball to get clear of his body when trying to elude defenders. Again, generally not an issue in High School, but savvy PAC-12 defenders will swipe at an exposed football potentially leading to fumbles. Another easily correctable habit, but one which should be addressed.
Confident, but not striking me as cocky, Mitchell has clear and defined goals for his Trojan career:
Graduating from USC with my Master’s Degree. I want to have broken records that great players before me have set. Several National Championship titles. Preparing myself for my new chapter in my life as a NFL player.
Along with the confidence and lofty goal-setting comes a healthy awareness of the complete package offered in a USC scholarship:
On Junior Day I was very impressed with USC academic program. USC is top-notch institution when it comes to academics.
Although projecting a High school athletes potential at the collegiate level is not an exact science, Steven Mitchell has me convinced his will be a productive career as he dons the cardinal and gold of USC. Earlier I failed to mention Mitchell’s impact is not limited to the offensive and return side of the game. Making use of his quick burst and flair for the big play, he also managed to block a couple PAT’s, and possibly more impressive, returned (2) Interceptions for TD’s during his limited snaps as a DB. Similar to the previously profiled Sebastian LaRue Mitchell is a game-changer of the highest level. Assuming his somewhat slender frame holds up to the physicality of a PAC-12 schedule, I project Mitchell as an early contributor at the collegiate level and his play should eventually garner All-Conference consideration/recognition. Equally as striking as is the young man’s on-field potential is the refreshingly grounded approach he takes to his personal life. Asked to share something non-football related Mitchell revealed there’s still some kid left in this big time prospect, “That i have a big personality, that’s full of character. I am a jokester, I love to have fun. I still get in the bed with my parents every now and then. My family means the world to me.” Citing his father and sister as having most impacted his drive towards football success, Steven Mitchell appears to possess a great deal of what’s required in achieving high level success. Impressive young man….and a pretty good football player to boot.