NCF On The Trail: U.S. Army commits

SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 150 outside linebacker Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) has been a hot topic of discussion for months. On Saturday, he became even more of a topic for the followers of BuckeyeNation.

Mitchell verbally committed to Ohio State and became the Buckeyes’ 21st commitment. The 6-foot-5, 222-pound linebacker chose Ohio State over Texas A&M and Oregon.

“I love the coaches, and it’s a really good opportunity for me to play early and play for a starting job,” Mitchell said. “I really feel good going to that school. I felt like I fit in really well.”

Ranked No. 121 in the ESPN 150, Mitchell was recruited by offensive coordinator Tom Herman.

Army Bowl: James Quick stays home

January, 5, 2013
SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 150 wide receiver James Quick (Louisville, Ky./Trinity), the top-ranked player in Kentucky, decided to stay home rather than head upstate or head west.

Quick verbally committed to Louisville during the second half of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome. Ranked No. 98 in the ESPN 150, Quick became the Cardinals’ 12th commitment of the 2013 recruiting class. He also is the second receiver committed and now becomes the top-ranked commit of the class.

Recruited by defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, Quick chose Louisville over Ohio State and Oregon.

Army Bowl: Muhammad chooses The U

January, 5, 2013
SAN ANTONIO -- Of all the athletes making their commitment announcements during Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl, ESPN 150 defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad (Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) might have been the one with the most questions about where he’d end up.

At the start of the second half of the game, Muhammad ended all questions and verbally committed to Miami. Ranked No. 95 in the ESPN 150, Muhammad chose the Hurricanes over Alabama and Notre Dame.

Muhammad is the No. 8 defensive end nationally and the No. 3 player in New Jersey among the 2013 recruiting class.
SAN ANTONIO -- Once committed to Florida State, ESPN 300 wide receiver Tony Stevens (Orlando, Fla./Evans) decided to take his talents to the Lone Star State.

Stevens verbally committed to Texas A&M during the U.S. Army All American Bowl. Ranked No. 207 in the ESPN 300, Stevens chose the Aggies over Florida State and Ohio State.

Stevens becomes the 35th commit for the Aggies and the ninth commit to potentially play receiver in 2013. The 6-foot-4, 184-pound athlete is the No. 29 receiver in the nation.

Recruited by Texas A&M receivers coach David Beaty, Stevens decommitted from Florida State in October.

Army Bowl: Joe Mathis chooses UW

January, 5, 2013
SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 300 defensive end Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) once thought he’d be a star basketball player. Even before then, he wondered if he’d be around to see an event like the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Mathis on Thursday reflected on life decisions made during his earlier years in high schools. He never thought two years later, he’d be announcing where he would play college football on national television. On Saturday, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound end verbally committed to Washington.

Mathis chose the Huskies over offers from USC, UCLA and Alabama. He is No. 251 in the ESPN 300 and the No. 22 defensive end.

“God blessed me with something I didn’t know I had,” Mathis said. “My life wasn’t headed the right way. Freshman and sophomore year, I was doing the stuff I wasn’t supposed to be doing. I finally changed it around.

“I thought I was going to be a basketball player, but I’m really happy I went this way.”

In addition to being a standout defensive end, Mathis also is a four-year varsity basketball forward. He said once he stopped growing, he began to lift weights and focus more on football.

“Best decision I ever made,” Mathis said.

Army Bowl: Tyler Boyd picks Pitt

January, 5, 2013
SAN ANTONIO -- Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) was believed to be a Pittsburgh lean entering the week, and on Saturday, the ESPN 300 athlete made the belief a reality.

Boyd chose Pitt during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, choosing the Panthers over Michigan State and West Virginia. The 6-foot-2, 182-pound athlete became the Panthers’ 22nd commitment of the 2013 recruiting class and the first of the new year.

Boyd, who also thought about attending Arizona, Penn State and Rutgers, visited Pitt on Nov. 16. He helped Clairton win its fourth straight state title last month. Boyd is ranked No. 161 in the ESPN 300, the No. 17 athlete nationally and the No. 7 player in Pennsylvania in his class.