Since the NCAA transfer portal window opened in December, speculation has surrounded which wide receiver target the Texas Longhorns might pursue with a clear need at the position even with the projected return of Isaiah Neyor and the addition of three top-100 signees in the 2023 class.
With the window closing on Wednesday, the Longhorns appeared on the verge of waiting too long for a target to emerge with numerous high-quality wide receivers committing to other programs without any clear interest from Texas.
The entrance of Georgia rising junior wide receiver Adonai Mitchell changed all of that following days of speculation about the Texas native departing the program after two national championships in two seasons in Athens.
And the Forty Acres could quickly emerge as a potential destination, with Longhorns Country reporting that Texas and USC are two programs in the mix for the 6’4, 190-pounder, among other speculation.
The Texas transfer portal conversation is heating with speculation that Georgia WR AD Mitchell become a Longhorn. He was the No.1 WR before an injury sidetracked him. Mitchell could be a game-changer for the Longhorn offense.— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) January 18, 2023
Mitchell went to Fort Bend Ridge Point before transferring to Antioch (Tenn.) Cane Ridge as a junior and eventually signing with Georgia over 19 other offers, including Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, LSU, Tennessee, Texas, as a consensus four-star prospect ranked as the No. 383 prospect nationally and the No. 63 wide receiver, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Under the previous coaching staff, Texas offered Mitchell during the summer of 2020 when he was committed to Ole Miss. If anyone has a relationship with Mitchell on the current staff, however, it’s most likely current Director of Recruiting Brandon Harris since Alabama never offered.
Regardless, the connections of Mitchell to the Longhorns over recent days — and perhaps even dating back to when the Bulldogs were still in pursuit of their second national title — suggest a level of interest and reciprocation corroborated by the aforementioned reluctance to pursue other targets.
So what does Mitchell bring to the table?
After landing at Georgia, as a true freshman Mitchell appeared in all 15 games for the Dawgs, starting in 12, finishing with 29 catches for 426 yards (14.7 avg.) and four touchdowns. Notably, Mitchell contributed during the national championship run with two catches for 34 yards with an 18-yard touchdown catch against Michigan and two catches for 50 yards with a go-ahead 40-yard touchdown catch against Alabama.
In 2022, Mitchell suffered a high ankle sprain in September and was out until the College Football Playoffs started, once again contributing in crucial moments with the game-winning, 10-yard touchdown reception to beat Ohio State and a 22-yard touchdown catch against TCU.
Although Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian doesn’t typically prefer tall wide receivers, Mitchell is unusual because although he’s listed at 6’4, he’s not a big-bodied possession receiver — instead, Mitchell has quick feet and an understanding of how to take advantage of his change-of-direction ability to win one-on-one matchups against defensive backs.
AD Mitchell is in the Portal— J.D. PicKell (@jdpickell) January 18, 2023
Someone is going to get a 1 on 1 PROBLEM
With 38 career receptions, there’s still not a large sample size with Mitchell, but he has shown strong hands and the ability to make contested catches in addition to rising to big moments.
So Mitchell presents a clean fit in the Longhorns offense who would provide a red-zone threat and other big-play ability as Sarkisian likely transitions to a more wide-open offense more reliant on 11 personnel packages thanks to an upgraded wide receiver corps.