Posted: 10:01 am Monday, February 3rd, 2014

State’s No. 1 football recruit for 2015 to commit on Wednesday 

By Michael Carvell

Mitch Hyatt (left) blocking Lorenzo Carter (AJC)

Mitch Hyatt (right) blocking Lorenzo Carter (AJC)

It looks like the state’s No. 1 college football prospect for next year will get the recruiting drama out of the way early.

5-star offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt is expected to announce his college decision at 7 p.m. Wednesday at North Gwinnett High School, his coach told the AJC.

Clemson is the heavy frontrunner for Hyatt because of family connections, while Ohio State may be the No. 2 contender. He also lists UGA (he attended a pair of games this past season), Alabama and Auburn among his top five.

Why Wednesday night? That’s when North Gwinnett is having a ceremony for its senior college prospects, including defensive end Dante Sawyer (committed to South Caroina) and wide receiver Nate Brown (committed to Missouri).

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Hyatt is projected to pick Clemson because his uncle, Dan Benish, played for the Tigers – and because Hyatt attended Clemson’s Junior Day this past weekend.

Hyatt has been a regular at Clemson games since he was knee-high to a grass hopper.

“Knowing Mitch, we’d be crazy to think Clemson and Ohio State aren’t the two teams that everybody has to beat,” North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire told the AJC in a recent interview. “His mom and her family, they’re all from Ohio. I think she’s a big Ohio State fan. His uncle, who is really his role model and confidante, played for Clemson on that national championship team. But Dan has emphasized that it’s going to be Mitch’s decision. Lisa (his mother) and I’ve talked about it. They want Mitch to make the best decision for himself, and what he’s comfortable with. Dan actually told me at one point that he would be upset if he thought that Mitch in any shape or form made the decision for him. That’s not what he wants at all. But that’s an influence that has been there in his life. I think he has been on that campus and in that stadium too many times to count. Mitch is a guy who is not a thrill-seeker and likes to feel comfortable.”

Benish, who played five seasons in the NFL (including four with the Atlanta Falcons), also recently discussed with the AJC the rampant speculation that his nephew was a “lock” for Clemson.

“What I’ve talked to Mitch about is that everybody is talking about how he has family ties to Clemson. Everybody says that, and they’ve been predicting 100-percent Clemson. That may be true. You know, I would be the proudest guy in the world if he went to Clemson. I love the place. I am a Clemson guy all the way. But I told him I would kick his butt if he went to Clemson because of me. If that’s where he feels comfortable, I’d love for him to go there. But if not, I want him to go where he’s happy. I would hate to put a Gamecock jersey, but I would do it if he went there. Same thing with Georgia.”

What about Ohio State? “He is really impressed with Urban Meyer,” Benish said. “He left a really good impression on Mitch. Of course, he has been going to Clemson since he was younger. He hasn’t been to South Carolina. He has been to Georgia for a couple of games. I’d love for him to see some other places, including Alabama. I really get the feeling that once the onslaught of recruiting hits, he is going to shut it down pretty quick. I don’t think he wants to go through the summer being hounded, although you can never shut it down 100-percent.”

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21 comments
RandyHall
RandyHall

96JB...you are sooo right....cannot get 5* OL to UGA....Theus was a package deal w/ his brother...and was Austin Long!! The real problem is that CMR needs to replace Will Friend as the OL Coach...he has done a poor job in recruiting in numbers and size of OL....plus his OL has played soooo inconsistent during his coaching tenure....Friend will be a major part of the demise of this Team!!!   

gbal
gbal

yeah... and taking some of hi senior teammates spotlight

96JB
96JB

The Dawgs simply can not get 5 star lineman to Athens. It's not important to Richt. He admitted that in so many words a few weeks ago. Wonder how all 5 star lineman on all the lines would work with 3 star skill players?

TampGator1
TampGator1

He will commit to Clemson after Lorenzo Carter commits to Georgia (big in state get for the Dawgs this year)..  Nationally, the recruit being watched the closest is Adoree Jackson out of California (incredible athlete).  Down to UCLA, USC, and Florida.  I think he goes to USC....but Florida has an outside chance because of their top track program and Adoree wants to play in the NFL and run track in the Olympics as well.   

TampGator1
TampGator1

POAD......


The large majority of the recruits this year are clearly saying......"We want to play in the best conference in the country.....the SEC SEC SEC.  

TampGator1
TampGator1

Buckeye......


Most top recruits this year would prefer to play in the SEC SEC SEC.....instead of the toilet conference known as the Big 10.....but nationally recognized as the very little 10. 

DawgsofAnarchy
DawgsofAnarchy

Hey Buckeye, didn't your team LOSE to the only 2 decent teams it played last season? 24 straight wins, and not 1 ranked team! HAHAHAHA! Finally play a top ten team and you get crushed, twice!!! HHAAHAAHAHAHAHA We may have gone 8-5, but we at least beat 2 top ten teams. NO Suckeye wins against top 10 teams in 5 years!!! HAAAAHAHAAHAHAHAHA

58Supersports
58Supersports

commit, oh well he will change his mind before  signing day.

POAD2013
POAD2013

Son WHY? You have 12 months to make that decision. 

I hope you make the best choice for you and STICK to your COMMITMENT.

Choosing so soon will make the other teams either work a lot harder to get you to flip or get them to stop contact. Recruiting is so crazy I hope you do what is best for you.

slydawg
slydawg

Darn shame Georgia or Tech isn't anywhere close to getting this talent on their roster. Too many elite, Top 10-20 players leave this state. The trend has to stop.

Falcaints
Falcaints

Clemson, is he being punished for something?

POAD2013
POAD2013

@TampGator1  and not have to worry about reading or learning to balance a checkbook? Good for them.

THEBuckeye
THEBuckeye

@slydawg  They want to compete for Championships, not go 9-4, 8-6, 6-7 and play in (toilet) Bowls.

POAD2013
POAD2013

@Falcaints  Have you ever visited Clem&Son? It is nice town, great fans, on the Lake & less than 2 hours from his home.


Contractor1
Contractor1

They teach you how to balance a check book at Tech?  The only classes I saw the football players in were poetry classes that you had to be specially admitted to because they were created for football players.  Only non-football graduating seniors were admitted to the class if they simply had the one elective left.  Yeah, they're only majoring in Engineering and Architecture at Tech.

Contractor1
Contractor1

Clemson is a lousy town.  The Esso club has great lunch, but other than that it is not a great campus.  It's a lot like Auburn's and you don't hear anyone praising Auburn, Alabama.  Athens, Oxford, Tuscaloosa, and places like Lexington are excellent towns, not Clemson.  Let's not mention how arogant their fans are, a lot like Georgia fans.  They think IPTAY is bigger than anything else in the world and all powerful.  All the Tech alumni I know absolutely hate Clemson and Yabo Dabo.

Contractor1
Contractor1

He has a point there.  Would you rather make the big game or atleast have a chance to make a big game, or lose 4-5 games and have no shot at all halfway to three quarters of the way through the season?  I'd rather play and have lost (as painful as that is to think about), than to have never had played in the bigger game at all.

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

Sorry I'm out of the loop - what is IPTAY?