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October 11, 2012
Prestonwood Christian (Plano,Texas) linebacker Mike Mitchell is in the middle of what is fast becoming a special senior season for him and his teammates.
Prestonwood is 6-0 and has outscored its opponents by more than 200 points.
The Crusaders have won three state titles in football, but this may well be the best team in school history with Mitchell, his brother Mickey at quarterback, and Ole Miss commit Christian Morgan leading the way.
In the midst of all of this, Mitchell's season got even better with his acceptance of an invitation to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. "It feels great" said the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Mitchell. "It's definitely one of the biggest honors I have ever gotten in my sports career. People at school are crazy about it. They still haven't gotten over it. They want to talk to me or congratulate me on it."
For Mitchell, there are a number of compelling reasons to play in the game.
"I watched it a little bit last year," he said. "I remember that guys like Tim Tebow played in it. The whole ceremony was awesome. It's a real serious thing. They have three sergeants that told me what an honor it is to be in it and what an honor it is for your country."
Mitchell played outside linebacker last season at Plano West, where he registered 151 tackles.
This year, he's playing the Mike, where he has 108 tackles. In addition, he's piling up numbers while playing through injury.
"Everything is going really good" he said. "I sprained an ankle in my first game and it's still swollen. I'm even seeing some time at running back."
"Our last game (a 41-13 win over Bishop Dunne) was the first time they gave me ball and I scored on it (a 44-yard run)." That pales in comparison to the 99-yard kickoff return that Mitchell had earlier this season.
"I usually return the opening kickoff," he said. "Special teams did a good job of blocking and I couldn't stop running."
Even with the honors that Mitchell is earning and the season that he and his teammates are having, recruiting is always lurking in the background.
Mitchell is one of the most heavily recruited linebackers in the country, but is still uncommitted.
Mitchell has visited numerous schools over the spring and summer and lists Ohio State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oregon, and TCU among his favorites.
However, he has yet to take any official visits and was asked if he would wait to do so until after the season ended.
"We might take one visit in November," he said. "It would be to Ohio State. We might take another one to Oregon. I'm not sure about the rest. If I did, it would be real close like to A&M or Oklahoma."