5-star prospect Mitchell commits to OSU, linebacker makes announcement on national TV


COLUMBUS — Ohio State continued to fortify its position of greatest need — and sustain a late recruiting push — on Saturday with a commitment from five-star Texas linebacker Mike Mitchell.

A day after four-star linebacker Trey Johnson announced his intention to play for the Buckeyes, the Plano, Texas, native did the same in choosing OSU over Oregon and Texas A&M during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

Mitchell’s commitment elevates coach Urban Meyer’s second recruiting haul among the nation’s top four classes, per Rivals.com and Scout.com. National signing day is Feb. 6.

"Coach Urban has a really good program going," Mitchell said during his in-game announcement. "The 12-0 season ... it’s Ohio State, a great program. They’re going to do big things."

Ohio State whiffed on one of its other swing-for-the-fences target: Louisville receiver James Quick. Ranked No. 21 overall by Scout and No. 114 by Rivals, Quick chose his hometown Cardinals over OSU on Saturday.

For the Buckeyes’ coaches, reeling in Mitchell undoubtedly helped soften the loss.

It was only two days ago that the future of the linebacker position at OSU remained a major question mark. The Buckeyes graduated two starters from a unit already thin on depth and had not secured a single commitment from a linebacker in the Class of 2013.

Now, Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga.), a former Auburn commit who chose OSU over Florida and Tennessee, are in the fold as potential first-year impact players. Mitchell is widely regarded among the top recruits in the country, ranked No. 33 overall by Scout and No. 30 by Rivals.

As a senior at Prestonwood Christian Academy, the 6-foot-4, 218-pound Mitchell had 186 tackles — including 32 for a loss — 11 sacks, and seven forced fumbles.

Mitchell is the Buckeyes’ 21st commitment in the Class of 2013. Their load is ranked third nationally behind Notre Dame and Alabama by Rivals and fourth by Scout.

Michigan’s class is ranked sixth and first, respectively.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Meyer is ensuring bowl-banned Ohio State will be neither out of sight nor out of mind during Monday night's BCS national championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama in Miami.

In fact, he looks to get more on-air face time than the participating coaches. Meyer and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin will join ESPN's set as guest analysts during pre-game and halftime coverage. The game kicks off at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Contact David Briggs at: dbriggs@theblade.com, 419-724-6084 or on Twitter @ DBriggsBlade.