COVID-19 has stopped everything in the sports world.
No college baseball. No NBA. No MLB. No English Premier League. Nothing.
But recruiting hasn’t stopped.
And new wide receivers coach Derrick Nix, who knows this all too well, hasn’t stopped for anything. That sentiment has been proven as four-star wide receiver Adonai Mitchell has verbally committed to Ole Miss. The nation’s 50th-ranked wide out chose the Rebels over a top five of Auburn, Georgia, LSU, and Virginia Tech and a host of other notable offers such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Tennessee’s No. 17 player had 49 catches for 795 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2019. Adonai might have gone for more if he hadn’t started the season at quarterback due to an injury to his teammate.
Mitchell, in a rather unorthodox move, chose to reclassify to the class of 2021 after completing his senior season at Cane Ridge in an effort to spend this upcoming season working out and preparing for his freshman year at Ole Miss.
Mitchell talked with Tom Kreager of the Tennessean about his decision.
“When I come into a college, I want to be the best me I can be,” Mitchell said earlier this school year. “I’m going to take off from June to December and do straight training and enroll in January with the 2021 class.
”There is a lot of things you have to think about. I don’t want to come to college and wait two or three years and then start playing.”
Mitchell, who is originally from Texas, moved to Nashville before the season last year and led the Ravens to a 9-4 campaign and a second round berth appearance in the Division I 6A playoffs. Before he was doing it all for Cane Ridge, he was a second-team all-district selection at receiver for Fort Bend (Tex.) Ridge Point in 2018.
Rivals’ recruiting analyst Rob Cassidy spoke with Mitchell about his commitment and why Ole Miss was the school for him.
“I sat down and had a talk — a long call — with Coach [Derrick] Nix and Coach [Jeff] Lebby, the OC. That’s when I knew for sure, I mean, it’s been a long process, but I felt like Ole Miss was the best fit for me. I trust them. That’s what it comes down to.”
He also seems to be enamored with new head coach Lane Kiffin.
“Coach Kiffin is dope. Even before I knew him, I’ve been following him since, like, forever. He has strong NFL ties and has coached at a lot of different places, so he’s seen things. He has plenty of experience.”
The newest commit for the 2021 class also told Cassidy how his trip to Oxford was for a junior day earlier this year.
“It was in January for a junior day. I loved it, man. It was actually really surprising because I really didn’t know too much about Ole Miss other than that they always have receivers that produce. But, like, I didn’t know much about the actual school. I was shocked. I was like, ‘Man, this place is beautiful. I love it here.’”
How does he fit in?
The 6’2, 190-pounder is physical and productive. As a junior in the Lone Star State, he put together a solid season, collecting 548 total yards and eight touchdowns. But, once he returned to his natural position at receiver when his Cane Ridge teammate was healthy and took over under center, he shined as a senior.
He lined up all over the field for the Ravens, flexing his versatility and athleticism. He has the wheels to take it the distance once he separates, and he has the wiggle to shake defenders at the point of attack whether that is out wide against a corner back or inside against a safety or linebacker.
He already has a nicely-built frame heading into his senior season and he should be another fantastic addition to the nWo lineage in Oxford.