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Ex-Ohio State LB headed to Texas Tech

5/30/2014

With two ESPN 300 recruits already committed, Texas Tech has been doing plenty of damage on the recruiting trail this spring.

On Friday, the Red Raiders added one of the top defensive recruits from last year.

Former Ohio State linebacker Mike Mitchell has decided that he will transfer to Texas Tech, a source told ESPN.com.

Mitchell was a four-star recruit and was ranked No. 128 in the ESPN 300 in the 2013 class before signing with the Buckeyes. He redshirted last season, but elected to transfer so he could be closer to his ailing father in Plano, Texas, which is just over a five-hour drive from Texas Tech’s campus in Lubbock. Mitchell also was reportedly considering enrolling at Texas A&M and Baylor. As a senior at Prestonwood Christian Academy, Mitchell averaged more than 17 tackles per game.

Texas Tech will petition the NCAA to grant Mitchell a waiver so he can be eligible for the 2014 season.

With top linebackers from last year Will Smith and Terrance Bullitt having graduated, Mitchell will have a chance to make an impact with the Red Raiders immediately, if granted the waiver.

Pete Robertson returns to the "Bandit" linebacker spot in Texas Tech's 3-4 defense after earning honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition in 2013. And at the "Mike" position, Sam Eguavoen and Micah Awe are currently listed on the depth chart after playing key roles in 2014.

But the rest of the linebacker unit is an unknown, with converted running back Kenny Williams having manned the “Raider” spot on the outside during the spring and transfer V.J. Fehoko, who was a part-time starter at Utah, sitting atop the depth chart inside at the “Will.”

As a sure tackler and a player capable of getting to the quarterback, Mitchell could also help in two areas where the Red Raiders struggled last year. Texas Tech ranked ninth in the Big 12 in run defense last season and seventh in sacks.

The Red Raiders already have a cornerstone offensively in sophomore QB Davis Webb. In snagging Mitchell, they might have just added a future defensive cornerstone as well.