A Texas Longhorns wide receiver room that could certainly benefit from an injection of talent got just that on Friday night when recently traded Georgia Bulldogs Adonai Mitchell joined head coach Steve Sarkisian’s program.
The news comes just two days after Mitchell entered the transfer portal on Wednesday and was reportedly on campus on Thursday. Of course, things moved particularly quickly between him and the Horns, a pretty impressive result considering Texas doesn’t currently have a wide receiver coach.
In any case, when that hiring is finally made – presumably in the coming days – Texas’ newest receiver coach will take control of a space that’s Xavier Worthy, Jordan Whittington, ideally a healthy Isaiah Neyor, a healthy crop of young talent and now returns , Mitchel.
Mitchell went to Fort Bend Ridge Point before moving to Antioch (Tennessee) Cane Ridge as a junior and eventually signing with Georgia through 19 other deals including Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, LSUTennessee, Texas, as a consensus four-star prospectus, ranked 383 nationally and wide receiver 63, according to 247Sports composite rankings.
After landing in Georgia, Mitchell appeared as a true freshman in all 15 games for the Dawgs, starting with 12 and finishing with 29 catches for 426 yards (14.7 average) and four touchdowns. Mitchell in particular 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 40-yard go-ahead touchdown catch against Alabama.
In September 2022, Mitchell suffered a serious sprained ankle and missed out until the start of the College Football Playoffs, again helping in pivotal moments to hit the 10-yard touchdown reception that won the game State of Ohio and a 22-yard touchdown catch against TCU.
Though Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian doesn’t typically favor tall wide receivers, Mitchell is unusual in that while he’s listed at 6ft 4, he’s not a powerful possession receiver — instead, Mitchell has quick feet and an understanding of how to take advantage of his ability to change direction to win one-on-one matches against defenders.
With 38 career receptions, Mitchell still doesn’t have a huge sample size, but he’s shown strong hands and the ability to make contested catches in addition to big moments.
Burnt Orange Nation’s Daniel Seahorn further elaborated on what Texas is getting with Mitchell:
Mitchell is a tall, athletic vertical threat at 6’4, 190lbs and he showed early on in Athens he can bring a headache to cover the field. Mitchell missed most of the 2022 season with a high ankle sprain, but just like as a freshman, he showed up in the playoffs.
Despite being a larger receiver, Mitchell has shown he can get in and out of his breaks like a small receiver, and he has shown his route-running ability can put high-end defensive talent in a mixer .
Mitchell’s size and mobility remind me of what Texas got at camp in Neyor last year before the injury, and the plus point about Mitchell is that he already has some power 5 level performance as an underclassmen. Mitchell offers Texas an outside great who has the ability to play “over the edge” and demonstrates the ability to make adjustments as he tracks the ball around the field. He also shows good hands and shows that he can catch the ball away from the body and does not rely on body catches.
Mitchell is an excellent addition to Worthy and Whittington heading into 2023 in the Longhorn receiving space and if Neyor recovers then that gives you another talented, big bodied receiver for Quinn Ewers to use.
Texas needed to add another receiver or two this offseason, I think, and after being very patient, I landed one of the best to come out this offseason so far.