When it comes to recruiting, sometimes things will break your way, while other times you won’t be as fortunate. In this case for Texas, it was the former in regards to Butler CC linebacker Juwan Mitchell. It’s no secret that the Texas staff is a bit concerned about the linebacker position and has been turning over every rock trying to find a solution. While turning over some stones in Kansas, the staff found themselves a potential solution in Mitchell who could possibly help them sooner rather than later.
With Mitchell being a full qualifier out of high school, this allows him to leave for his school of choice as soon as later this month instead of having to graduate from Butler and get his associates. This allows Mitchell to get on campus for the summer and get acclimated before getting a chance to earn starter snaps in August. It’s not too often you can be this fortunate when you are trying to address a big need on your roster, but Texas and Mitchell ended up being the right match and the right time, which is why you will see him in burnt orange come this fall.
Name: Juwan Mitchell
High School/ JUCO: Mater Dei (NJ)/ Butler CC
City & State: Middletown, NJ/ El Dorado, KS
40-yard time: N/A
2018: 55 Tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 2 Sacks, 1 PBU, 1 Int
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Juwan Mitchell is an unranked inside linebacker from Butler Community College by way of Mater Dei HS in Middletown, NJ. Mitchell was committed to Rutgers in high school before ending up at Butler and was previously committed to Minnesota before flipping his commitment to Texas and will have four years to play three in Austin. In 2018, Mitchell logged starter snaps at inside linebacker for the Grizzlies and turned in a solid freshman campaign in the middle of the defense. Mitchell’s best trait shown on tape is his violence and disposition he shows as a tackler and a blitzer. Mitchell is a classic knockback tackler and he brings the funk whenever he trades paint with ball carriers. On more than one occasion on tape you see Mitchell’s ability as a blitzer force bad throws from the quarterback that end up being turnovers. Mitchell read and reacts well coming down hill in the run game, but with that said he didn’t show many opportunities where he had to take on blockers and show he can disengage from them, which worries me a bit going forward. Mitchell also appears to be an average athlete for the position, which is a concern considering he is heading to the Big 12, but he does show solid range and a good motor while in pursuit of the ball carrier. While Mitchell did log an interception on tape while in pass coverage, he still needs to improve and get more comfortable in his drops as that is something that he will be tasked with frequently in league that likes to spread you out and expose linebackers that liabilities in coverage. Overall, Mitchell lacks the splash and sexy plays that will get you fired up when you watch, but he still has tools that you can work with and can at minimum provide you with some reliable depth.
All things considered this a solid take at a position of need for Texas. It’s not too often you will be able to plug a hole on your roster at this time of year, so the staff deserves a lot of kudos for being able to find a capable player in Mitchell who will likely help them come later this fall. With four years to play three, Mitchell still has time and room to grow as a player, but with how things are shaping up at the position he will likely be leaned on to log a decent amount snaps as soon as he is able to acclimate and digest the playbook. A player like Mitchell will buy the staff some time as younger players continue to develop and lessen the need to have run them out on the field before they are ready. While Texas will need to continue to overall the position in the long term, Mitchell’s commitment definitely helps in the short term.
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