Miguel Mitchell, defender
School: Oxford (Alabama)
Height Weight: 6-foot-1, 205 pounds
On3 consensus ranking: Three Stars, No. 985 (National), No. 88 (Pos.)
Miguel MitchellThe University of Florida’s path has been a winding road characterized by a late influx of new staff.
Ranked as a three-star prospect by the On3 Consensus, Mitchell has been largely overlooked for the better part of his process.
With Vanderbilt headlining his offer list last summer, he committed to the Commodores just days after the visit. He lived up to that promise until early November, when he began attending Northwestern.
A Dec. 3 visit signaled the likelihood he would sign with the Wildcats until his talks with programs such as LSU, Florida, Tennessee, Oregon and USC begin. Although he didn’t have an offer from those schools, he chose to give himself an extra month and a half to make a decision.
Receiving an offer from UF from Billy Napier and Co. in late December, as the flood of offers from the schools mentioned above rolled in, Mitchell began to show immediate interest in the opportunity Florida presented for his future.
His reconnection with the coaching staff that pursued the talented Alabama native during their time at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette has put the Gators in a solid position for the towering talent.
After all, Florida would be in a battle with Tennessee for his services. Planning two official visits in January for his top two — the first in Gainesville and the second in Knoxville — the safety was scheduled to see what each program had to offer if he had to choose their school.
Florida wowed the first weekend and he never made it to Knoxville.
With the Gators staff incentivizing Mitchell during his stay from Jan. 14-16, the Oxford (Alab.) product announced his commitment to the Gators on Jan. 16, effectively ending his recruitment for good.
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He signed with the Gators on Feb. 2 and enrolled at UF on May 22.
Where Mitchell fits in
One of the biggest focal points for the Gators’ transition recruiting class was based in the middle school to attract talented linebackers for defensive coordinator and safeties coach Patrick Toney to deploy at his discretion.
Mitchell fills a need for depth on the unit.
Joining Blue Chip Security Kamari Wilson like the members of the 2022 class who will fill spots on the defensive end, Mitchell provides the versatility to be a Swiss Army Knife-like piece.
It’s Toney’s defense that can highlight that skill set.
When Mitchell visited in January, he left Gainesville with the view that he could thrive in the back-centric defensive system that Toney brings to the table.
“I’ll just go in where I fit in when I get there, so if I have to move it won’t be a problem at all,” he said AllGators after the official visit to UF.
While he may not have the opportunity to see the start of his career at Florida — due to the Gators’ returning talent in his unit and the lack of technical gender he presents at the position — Mitchell’s athleticism and ability to move around the defense could be luxury when the time comes.
Until then, Mitchell — like others who are being primed for an eventual contributing role — will likely occupy a spot on special teams.
His adequate speed and functional tackling abilities project him as a solid shooter on kicking and punting units. Mitchell can help strengthen the third phase of the game after a tumultuous year.
As a result, his input in this aspect will be extremely needed.
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