This week's crime report for Clay County Florida, provided by the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
MIDDLEBURG - In a flurry of football scholarship verbal commits around Clay County, Middleburg High senior running back Mike Mitchell, one of the top dual threat offensive players in Florida last …
MIDDLEBURG - In a flurry of football scholarship verbal commits around Clay County, Middleburg High senior running back Mike Mitchell, one of the top dual threat offensive players in Florida last year, joined the party with his recent commit to play for the University of Utah after his senior season.
“I want to be able to take my skills to the next offense and Utah runs a spread offense with dual threat running backs,” said Mitchell, a 10.8 100 meter time with eight reps for the Combine 225 bench press. “I like to compare myself to Zack Moss, their running back that just went into the NFL. I can run the ball and catch it.”
Mitchell, who rushed for nearly 1400 yards last year and blasted enemy defenses with slash runs the length of the field with games of 201, 217 and 255 among his nine games over 100 yards; one under 100 in a 32-30 win over Santa Fe, with 18 touchdowns.
“He offers a dual threat athlete with power and 10.8 100 meters speed,” said Middleburg coach Ryan Wolfe, who took over last year and guided the Broncos to a 5-5 season after years of winless finishes. “He has matured into the position of a team leader and understands what his place is here. We want to expand his pass catching talents this year a little more. He’s a three down back; you can run him three downs in a row.”
In recent 7 v 7 passing scrimmages; vs. Interlachen and Oakleaf, Mitchell was dynamic as a slot back getting long and short passes in Wolfe and Spencer Johnson’s elaborate offensive schemes.
“We get him the ball in space and he is tough to bring down, first, then fast once he stomps his foot in the ground,” said Wolfe, noting Middleburg had 60-70 colleges visit the school in the spring. “His style will be a very good fit at Utah. Not many kids his size can go 10.8 in the 100.”
In recent 7 v 7 passing scrimmages, Mitchell was effective downfield as a slot back off the line of scrimmage instead of being set behind the quarterback.
“I think coach Wolfe wants to play in a slot position to get the ball in my hands downfield where I can use my speed to get extra yards,” said Mitchell, who also had Louisville and Kentucky on his college list.
Utah, 8-1 last year and 12th in NCAA Associated Press final poll, is in the very rugged PAC-12 South with the likes of UCLA, Arizona State, Colorado and USC. The Utes employed a balanced offense under head coach Kyle Whittingham with a 400-plus average on offense; 6.4 per run, 10.5 per pass. The Utes played in the prestigious Rose Bowl last year.
“I chose Utah because they play Big Boy football,” said Mitchell. “Coach Wolfe, from day one, has been correcting me from a bunch of dumb decisions on and off the field. I wouldn’t be here without his guidance.”
Other area athletes with college football on their minds include Orange Park OL Roderick Kearney who recently announced his commit to Florida State University, Clay DB Jarvis Lee to Virginia, OHS OL Kyland Armstrong to Wake Forest and FIHS LB Abram Wright to Rutgers. Still undecided but fielding offers is FIHS RB Sam Singleton and FIHS WR Darion Domenick.
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