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Jacksonville (FL) First Coast Defensive Lineman Derrick Mitchell commits to Florida State

DT Derrick Mitchell

Derrick Mitchell, a defensive tackle from Jacksonville's First Coast High School has committed to Florida State, Ira Schoeffel confirmed via twitter.  Apologies for not getting this up sooner, but we were unable to reach two of our primary sources.  Mitchell is the eighth commitment for the 'Noles, joining First Coast RB Eric Beverly, Nova DT Nile Lawrence, Navarre OL Sterling Lovelady, Treasure Coast DBs Lamarcus Brutus and Keelin Smith, Deland OL Trey Pettis, and Ridge ATH Karlos Williams.


Height Weight Times Academics Other Offers Accolades
6'5" 285 lbs

5.1 40-yard

32" Vertical

Unknown Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, South Carolina ESPNU 150 Watch List



Not a shocking commitment by any means.  Mitchell goes to what is considered an FSU feeder school in First Coast.  The 'Noles offered fairly early.  Mitchell visited for the February 20th Junior Day and loved his visit.  First Coast has several other good underclassmen as well, including WR Chris Black. 

Here is some free video.  Please keep in mind that this video is from June of last season.  Mitchell is about 25-30 lbs bigger now. 

TN's Thoughts:

He's a big, strong kid that will most likely be a defensive tackle at FSU.  He's considered a very good athlete for his size.  Mitchell is very raw right now and in the limited film we've seen, plays too high.  FSU will need to coach him up, something DT Coach Odell Haggins has always done well.  Due to his great length, he's still growing into his body and like most defensive linemen, he might not be an immediate contributor.  Mitchell also has a 1993 birthdate, making him one of the youngest kids in FSU's recruiting class.

I'd expect him to get above 300 pounds by his 2nd season at FSU.  He reminds me a bit of a skinnier version of former Tennessee DT John Henderson (Jacksonville Jaguars).  In an odd comparison, his length reminds me of former Marlins 1B (current Cub) Derrick Lee.

From the recent UA combine:

The 6-foot-5, 285-pounder was impressive during one-on-one drills. He showed excellent footwork and used his hands well to shed potential blockers making it tough on offensive linemen throughout the day.

"I think I've got really good speed," he said. "I mean, I weigh 285 pounds, but I don't look it and I don't feel it."

This fall, Mitchell will play end for First Coast, but he potentially projects as big, athletic interior defensive tackle in college. Alabama recently joined a host of schools that have offered early. Others include Florida State (where Mitchell's father played basketball), Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida International, among others.

As far as the defensive tackle position goes, FSU might take one more.  

Sort of narrow hipped, but he can easily add 10-15 lbs of good weight in his lower body. Uses his long arms to stalemate blockers and does a pretty good job of shedding. Can get some quick penetration, but must get better at attacking half-a-man and quickly getting into the gap. Needs to learn how to get skinny, slip past blockers and split double teams. When he stays low he can dominate, but when he gets high he exposes his long torso and the blocker can get him. That's common for tall defensive tackles. Once in the backfield his long arms engulf the running back and while he sometimes tackles high, he does stay square and make the play. Bats down a lot of passes with his 6'6" frame and tremendously long arms. Tends to rely a little much on his raw strength and I would like to see him generate more power from his lower body coming out of his stance. Pretty good at finding the ballcarrier. Good GPA and is likely already fully qualified. Dad played hoops for FSU in the late 80s. 6th player from First Coast HS for FSU. Film | Photo | Photo

Derrick Mitchell - First Coast High School - #90 (via dillhyonj)