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Monday, December 31, 2012
U.S. Army Bowl: Monday notebook

By Damon Sayles and William Wilkerson

SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 150 outside linebacker Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) isn’t big on speaking publicly. He’d rather let his game do the talking -- and it speaks volumes.

On Monday, the 6-foot-5, 222-pound linebacker officially confirmed that he will announce his college plans during Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Oregon, Texas A&M and Ohio State are his three finalists.

Mitchell said all three schools -- and even a fourth, Oklahoma -- had their positive qualities throughout his recruiting process. It was a feeling of comfort, however, that seemed to win him over.

Mitchell said he has an idea of where he wants to go, but he will take the decision into Saturday.

“Mostly, it’s just a feel of where you think you want to go,” Mitchell said. “After eliminating all those good schools, I just felt like those three were the best fit.”

Of the three, Oregon has yet to receive an official visit from Mitchell. The four-star linebacker, however, added that he was a big fan of Oregon’s facilities. Mitchell visited Texas A&M on Oct. 19 and Ohio State on Dec. 7.

Newsmaker: The mother of five-star defensive back Mackensie Alexander (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee) really wants him to play with his brother, three-star safety MacKenro Alexander.

“It’s a constant thing with her,” said Alexander, the No. 5 overall player and No. 2 cornerback in the 2013 class. “ ‘I don’t care where you go, son, but you have to be with your brother. Don’t leave him behind.’ ”

Alexander said it would be an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 on the likelihood of him playing with his brother in college. Some of the schools he is considering are Clemson, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Auburn.

Superlatives: Four-star USC offensive line commitment Khaliel Rodgers (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian) is a monster. The dude absolutely dominated 1-on-1s and 11-on-11s, and he let the opposition know about it every time. ... LSU commit Tre’Davious White (Shreveport, La./Green Oaks) is listed at 5-11 and 175 pounds, yet he managed to hold his own against a very tall, physical group of West-roster wide receivers. White successfully defended 6-7, 226-pound Derrick Griffin (Rosenberg, Texas/Terry) and 6-5, 230-pound Ricky Seals-Jones (Sealy, Texas/Sealy) -- two Texas A&M commits -- on multiple occasions. ... One defensive end who stood out was four-star Penn State commitment Garrett Sickels (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Regional). The 34th-rated defensive end breezed past top-rated offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) at one point during 1-on-1s. That doesn’t happen often. ... NBA hall of famer David Robinson was in attendance watching his son, Notre Dame wide receiver commit Corey Robinson (San Antonio/San Antonio Christian), make plays during the first day of practice.

Status update: Texas commit Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina), as usual, has been busy connecting with fellow future college stars. The ESPN 150 lineman received shout-outs via Twitter from fellow West team players in Ohio State commit Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis/John Burroughs) and four-star running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage).

“Shout out to my bro @jakeraulerson55 go follow him asap!” Green tweeted.

“S/o to my new boy @JakeRaulerson55 #HookEm,” Elliott tweeted.

What’s on tap?

A few things to look at:

Will the East quarterbacks and receivers get on the same page? Rain, fog and smoke from a terrifying accident just outside of Heroes Stadium made it difficult for the two sides to connect, as you might expect.

How will the West defensive backs look without Su’a Cravens (Murrieta, Calif./ Vista Murrieta)? The ESPN 150 safety made the trip but will not play because of injury. What adjustments will be made in the secondary?

What will the physicality level be like with full pads? The East opted for shorts and shoulder pads in the afternoon, and things already were reaching a boiling point.

Quotable: “It’s been fun coming out and competing with the receivers and the other defensive backs. It was fun. One-on-ones were fun, holding it down. I dominated, dominated. It was easy.” -- Five-star cornerback Mackensie Alexander