Clemson is firmly in the mix for Tony Mitchell, the nation’s top-ranked cornerback and one of the top overall prospects in the country for the class of 2023.
Mitchell, who hails from Thompson High School in Alabaster, Ala., narrowed down his list of more than 30 offers recently when he dropped his top 12 schools on social media.
The Tigers made the cut for Mitchell, along with Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Southern Cal and Texas.
“I’m locked in on these 12,” Mitchell told The Clemson Insider recently. “I have great relationships with these coaches, and these are the best 12 that fit for me for where I want to go to school.”
Of the aforementioned programs, Mitchell named Clemson, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan and Texas as some of the ones he has the best relationships with.
As for Clemson, he has built a close bond with his area recruiter for the Tigers, Todd Bates, as well as cornerbacks coach Mike Reed.
“They’ve been showing love,” Mitchell said of the Tigers. “Since I’ve been a freshman, they’ve been recruiting me. Coach Bates, my area recruiter, he’s very cool. … He just keeps it real, like the whole staff keeps it real with me.
“I like Clemson. It’s a great place.”
Mitchell (6-2, 180) visited Clemson two years ago when he was a freshman to attend the game vs. Florida State and came away impressed by his experience on campus and in Death Valley.
“The fans … the campus is great,” he said, looking back at what stood out to him about the visit. “I love it there. The fans are live in Death Valley.”
Clemson typically doesn’t offer prospects until the summer before their junior year, but Mitchell is a strong candidate to eventually receive an offer from the Tigers when they begin offering 2023 recruits, and he hopes to see one come his way down the road.
“It would be great because that’s my dream school,” he said. “I love Clemson, and I would be very excited. They’re already one of my top schools, my favorites. So, that would be big.”
Mitchell currently doesn’t have a timeline for when he will further cut down his recruitment or make his decision, but knows what he is looking for in a school as he goes through the process and what will be important to him when he makes his commitment in the future.
“I just want to have that home feeling, whatever school I’m at,” he said. “Like outside of football, I can have fun and enjoy myself there. And great relationship with the coaches and the players, and I want to come in and play right away.”
Mitchell is ranked as the No. 1 cornerback in the 2023 class by 247Sports, which tabs him as the No. 19 overall prospect in the class regardless of position.
“I’m a dog,” he said, describing himself as a player. “I’m going to give my all every play, leave my heart on the field. I ain’t going to cut nothing short. Hit the classroom hard, weight room – everything I do is going to be 100 percent.”
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