August 18, 2009

Rebels land commitment from versatile speedster

Ole Miss entertained Eric Mitchell for an unofficial visit in April.

The Rebels wowed the three-star athlete from Cape Coral (Mariner), Fla., and moved into the lead for his collegiate services, and Mitchell said Ole Miss would be "tough to beat."

Those comments, presumably, were comforting for Ole Miss, but for the past four months or so, the Rebels have held on while other programs have made a run at the 5-foot-11, 170-pound speedster.

On Sunday, Ole Miss got its man when Mitchell gave the Rebels his verbal commitment. Mitchell chose Ole Miss over Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan, Florida International and others.

Mitchell is Ole Miss' sixth verbal commitment for the 2010 signing class, joining Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., cornerback Cliff Coleman; Cleveland, Tenn., offensive lineman Jared Duke; Atlanta, Ga., linebacker Clarence Jackson; East Mississippi Community College quarterback Randall Mackey and Monticello, Ark., safety Brishen Matthews.

Yazoo City, Miss., four-star offensive tackle Demarco Cox committed to Ole Miss' basketball program earlier this month and has not ruled out playing both sports at some point during his college career.

Mitchell picked up an offer from Ole Miss in early April. Soon thereafter, he made the 14-hour trip to Oxford with a pair of his high school coaches, including Mariner head coach Chad O'Brien.

"When I left, I said I'm an Ole Miss fan," O'Brien said. "I'll root for them now. I was really impressed. They have a top-notch thing going."

Mitchell, who plays running back, wide receiver and cornerback at the high school level, will likely begin his college career at cornerback.

"They're not sure if they're going to put me on offense or defense," Mitchell said in April. "I watched their corners, and I'm pretty sure I could handle it. …It doesn't matter. Wherever they want to put me, I'll play, as long as I get on that field."

O'Brien said he believes the Rebels are recruiting Mitchell as a cornerback, adding that Ole Miss recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks coach Chris Vaughn "really liked him."

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