For the second time in as many cycles, the Texas Longhorns have plucked a top-ranked prospect out of Butler C.C. (Kan.), as physical inside linebacker Juwan Mitchell announced his commitment to Tom Herman’s program on Monday.
Mitchell’s pledge comes in the aftermath of a weekend official visit to the Forty Acres, which marked his second official tour since adding his Texas offer on May 2. Prior to his trip to Austin, the former Minnesota commit officially visited Arkansas on May, and shortly thereafter, reopened his recruitment, decommitting from the Gophers on May 7.
To that end, Mitchell’s recruitment should have long been completed.
Last November, following a two-day unofficial trip to Rutgers, Mitchell announced his commitment to the Scarlet Knights on Nov. 19, and put pen to paper exactly one month later during the Early Signing Period. However, reportedly unable to meet a specific academic requirement without paying for the course out of pocket, Mitchell elected to return to Butler C.C. for the spring semester, which put him on pace to become a June graduate, and ultimately, a much-better-late-than-never addition to Texas’ 2019 class, whom his current linebackers coach exuded high praise for.
“Juwan is a very instinctual player. He is able to diagnose plays very quickly just based on his instincts,” Butler C.C. linebackers coach Kyle Woodall told 247Sports’ Ryan Burns. “He’s very athletic and is one of the more physical players that we have.”
“Juwan is very naturally gifted. He has great speed, athletic ability, and understands the game,” Woodall later added. “He loves the physical side of the game and has been a great asset to our defense. I think Juwan is just starting to tap into his potential and is only going to improve. With his natural ability, and being in a college weight room for a winter now, the sky is the limit for him.”
Burnt Orange Nation’s Joe Hamilton agrees:
Mitchell is an instinctive defender that prides himself on flowing sideline to sideline and rapidly shooting gaps to inflict some devastating blows on opposing ball carriers. Being able to read-and-react towards the direction of the ball and have the speed to close in to secure the tackle is a trait that Mitchell is equipped with. The toughness, willingness to attack, and quick thinking Mitchell possesses is a great sight to see and will be put to use at the next level. The juco-product is flexible and has some fluidity, which will be a huge bonus for Todd Orlando’s defense, as he’ll be called upon to fly around to make necessary stops in run support and also be a factor in pass coverage. Being able to make plays after shedding off blockers is something you’d like to see more of from Mitchell. He has the wherewithal to become an impactful mike-backer for the Longhorns due to his overall stature and impressive athleticism.
During his debut season with Butler C.C. which saw him share a defense with Texas 2019 signee and former top-ranked strong-side defensive end Jacoby Jones, Mitchell amassed 55 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks.
Mitchell will have four years to play three at Texas, and the Longhorns will likely need the 6’1, 235-pound prospect to contribute is some fashion as soon as the 2019 season opener, as Mitchell will be welcomed into a linebacker room that’s severely lacking depth and experience.