Billy Ray Mitchell has been making waves lately by saying that he was going to announce a top three but yesterday the offensive lineman from Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic pumped the brakes a bit.
"I was shooting for the making cuts at the end of this month but that's just unrealistic," said the 6-foot-3, 270-pound Mitchell. "I'm not really sure now. When I fall in love with a school and I like it a lot, that's the school I'll go to. Official visits will definitely happen. It's all part of the process. I made a little bit of a mistake saying that I would put out a top three. It's just way too early to do that."
Although he does not have an official top three, Mitchell did admit there is one school at the top and a few others that are being considered.
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"Right now, my top school is Virginia Tech but I have a lot of schools that haven't offered yet and are starting to pursue," he said. "Tennessee is starting to inquire. I'm visiting Wisconsin around the fourth of July. Nebraska is inquiring. Georgia Tech and N.C. State are still in the mix. Ole Miss is gathering information. I'm just taking my time and finding the place that I fit into best.
"Ole Miss is really the only school that I have a connection to. My father went there," Mitchell explained. "Wisconsin is historically a good place for offensive linemen. It's also one of the best academics schools in the country and it's in a great conference. They play very competitive football and a degree from there means a lot.
"Tennessee is a SEC school, it's very competitive and they have one of the best recruiting classes in the country right now," he said. "Again, it's also a very good academic school.
"I've been a fan of the Virginia Tech Hokies ever since I was a kid," said Mitchell. "I grew up watching Tech, loving Tyrod Taylor and Michael Vick. I model my game after Bruce Smith. It's been kind of cool being recruited by the team I've rooted for all my life. I really like Coach Grimes, who won a championship at Auburn. He is a very respected coach and I got a very good vibe when I visited. Coach Beamer is a classy guy and it's a very good university."
Mitchell has one visit planned right now but it sounds like there will be more to come.
"Other than my visit to Wisconsin some time around the fourth of July everything is kind of up in the air," he said. "There are a couple of schools that, if they show interest or offer, I would take the time to go visit but it's just about determining if it's something that makes sense and something that I want to pursue. Once you visit you get a feel for the school and can think about how you like the school. My family also plans to move to where I go to school so I also want to find a place that would be good for them as well."
A number of division one recruits attend Paramus Catholic and two that have the highest profiles, Jabrill Peppers and Juwan Bushell-Beatty, are already committed to Michigan. With the recruiting process speeding up and two players he sees everyday, it would be totally understandable if Mitchell felt pressure to commit soon.
"Obviously, I'm very proud of Juwan and Jabrill for committing to Michigan," Mitchell said. "Some guys will commit right after they get an offer and some will wait and commit on signing day but they felt like they were ready and knew that that's where they wanted to be. When I get to that point I'll commit as well but I don't feel any pressure from that."
A total of eleven schools have offered Mitchell.