As Notre Dame keeps adding commitments in the 2022 class, the Fighting Irish coaching staff is also keeping an eye on the 2023 cycle, as evidenced by the offer to standout Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson defensive back Tony Mitchell on Wednesday.
Checking in at 6-2 and 185 pounds, Mitchell is one of the premier prospects in the 2023 class and currently sits at the No. 1 cornerback position and No. 19 slot overall according to 247Sports.com. With that type of ranking, it should come as no surprise that Mitchell started receiving college interest early on. Both Alabama and Georgia extended offers Mitchell's way during his eighth grade year, and Notre Dame is the latest high profile program to enter the mix.
“A couple of days earlier this week, my head coach told me that they were contacting him about me, and he was having our counselor send them my transcript to see my grades,” Mitchell told Irish Breakdown. “I figured after they saw that because I have good grades, I have straight As, so I knew at some point the offer was coming. [My coach] told me today to give them a call. He gave me the corners coach's number, and he was just seeing how I was doing, and he really loved my film. He thinks I'm a great player and told me I have a scholarship to play at Notre Dame.”
As Mitchell alluded to, Notre Dame cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens shared the good news on Wednesday, and he was also able to hit on a couple selling points that really resonated with the elite recruit.
“He was great,” Mitchell said of Mickens. “He was just asking about the family, how I've been and things I like doing outside of football. He was talking about how they're very big on academics, and that's major because I will stop playing football at some point so I need a good education, something I can do to help increase my money after playing. They are obviously a good football program by itself, but the academics are big.
“I love that they have a great education, great academics because I'm big on that too,” continued the standout cornerback.“At some point, I'm going to stop playing football, so I want to get a degree I can do something with since I'm probably going to major in Business. That's what I'd like to do.”
So far, Mitchell has made visits to Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Mississippi State and Tennessee, and he is so familiar with Georgia and the Crimson Tide that he feels he could give a comprehensive tour of the facilities to other interested prospects.
“The whole staff knows me at both those schools,” Mitchell added. “They are obviously great football teams every year. They've got great coaching, and the environment around the schools has a home-like feeling.”
Mitchell has not yet been on Notre Dame's campus, but he says that will be a priority visit once the dead period ends along with Ohio State, LSU, Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and USC.
“I have never been to Indiana, so it would be great for me to get on campus, see the school, facilities and just meet the other coaches,” Mitchell continued.
Last season, Mitchell was a pivotal part of a 14-0 Thompson squad that fielded a suffocating defense, one that allowed just over 15 points per game. In what was his sophomore campaign, Mitchell logged 82 tackles, eight pass breakups, eight tackles for loss, four interceptions and two touchdowns in addition to his duties fielding kickoffs on special teams.
As for this coming year, Mitchell will likely continue to float around the Warriors' defense at safety, cornerback and nickel back as he showcases his ball skills and anticipation on a game-by-game basis.
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