Updated: Mitchell Wastes No Time

Updated: Mitchell Wastes No Time

Less than 12 hours after receiving his first BCS offer, Pittsburgh (PA) Shady Side Academy cornerback Reggie Mitchell decided that Wisconsin was the right place for him to play college football.

MADISON - It didn't take long for Reggie Mitchell to go from frustrated, to relieved, to committed during his recruiting process.

After receiving his first BCS scholarship offer from Wisconsin Wednesday afternoon, Mitchell returned home, thought about it and decided that there wasn't a better opportunity out there for him than playing for Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema and the University of Wisconsin.

"I'm still kind of speechless," Mitchell told Badger Nation in his first post commitment interview. "I talked to all of them and it's an hour later and I still don't know what to say about everything that has happened to me. It's like a huge weight that has been lifted off my shoulders."

Mitchell - a 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback - had three smaller offers to his name from Duquesne, Prairie View A&M and Villanova, but always seemed to be right on the cusp with a lot of BCS schools in terms of getting that big offered.

As a junior at Shady Side Academy, a AA school in Pittsburgh, Mitchell accounted for more than 500 yards passing and 500 yards rushing. He scored 12 touchdowns and had three interceptions on defense, but schools simply didn't know enough about him to push an offer.

"I'm coming from a small school in Pittsburgh, so that's part of the reason, I think, I hadn't gotten a lot of interest because people were afraid to jump on me because I wasn't a five-star recruit coming from a big school," Mitchell said. "I had to use that as motivation."

While other schools passed on him, Wisconsin's recruiting coordinator Joe Rudolph knew better. Rudolph stopped in at the school twice, the second time brining co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash, to talk to Mitchell and evaluate told him to come to their camp.

Based on talking to Rudolph, Mitchell felt a good performance would yield him that big offer.

"We hit it off from the start," said Mitchell of his relationship with Rudolph. "He explained to me the situation of cutting it close because they had a small recruiting class. They said they loved my footwork and just wanted to see me in person live. I felt something good could happen."

Mitchell spent two days in Madison and knew that it was the perfect spot for him.

"While I camp, I just loved the facilities, loved Coach Bret Bielema (he's a real family oriented guy) and they took me around the campus," Mitchell said. "I got to talk to more of the coaches, academic advisors, the strength and conditioning coaches and got a really good feel for Madison. I loved it and the school is perfect."

So when Mitchell got the offer Wednesday afternoon, and Rudolph telling him it would be in his best interest to make a quick decision knowing that UW was short on spots, Mitchell committed in less than 12 hours.

"It was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I have to take advantage of it," said Mitchell, who cancelled his camp at Connecticut. "There aren't a lot of schools that could beat Wisconsin. I am always going to be open-minded if another opportunity comes along, but I don't really see that happening."

Mitchell's commitment was the seventh for Wisconsin and second from a defensive back in two days, at South Plantation (Fla.) cornerback Hugs Etienne committed a day earlier. The Badgers are believed to be done recruiting cornerbacks.

"One thing as a corner, I love man press and getting into people's faces at the line," Mitchell said. "I think that's the best part of my game. A lot of people wouldn't expect that because I am not the biggest guy out there, but I can still get with the bigger guys."

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