Three-star safety Dakota Mitchell of Winter Park, Fla. had an idea on a timetable in which he planned to issue a commitment.
He just didn’t realize the lure of LSU would be so strong that he moved up his decision two to three months.
Mitchell – a 5-11, 170-pounder – issued a commitment to LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron on Thursday, becoming the fifth member in the Tigers current recruiting class for 2021.
He’s the first defensive back to join the class which now has four out-of-state pledges.
“I had a time in mind like May or July,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t know I would do it this early. They’ve got something cooking up over there and I wanted to be a part of it as soon as possible.”
Despite an NCAA-imposed mandate to stop on-campus or face-to-face recruiting at least until April 15 because of the coronavirus health scare, Mitchell informed Orgeron of his decision over Florida and Georgia.
“When I came to LSU, I already knew this was the place for me, but I wanted to wait and see what other schools had to offer,” Mitchell said. “But my heart’s just been telling me why wait if I already know for sure. I said I’m going to just shut it down.”
Mitchell intends to take only one visit, his scheduled official visit May 8 to LSU should the current coronavirus pandemic improve. He said he’s cancelled a June 18 visit to Alabama which he listed Feb. 24 among a group of six schools that also included Clemson, Miami along with his aforementioned finalists.
According to 247Sports.com. Mitchell’s the nation’s No. 27 rated safety and No. 62 prospect in Florida. He played both offense and defense at Winter Park in 2019, rushing for more than 1,000 yards with 18 touchdowns; compiling 65 tackles and had an interception.
Mitchell said he received more than 30 scholarship offers with LSU making its overture Oct. 16.
He also got his first taste of Tiger Stadium during LSU’s 56-20 victory Nov. 26 over Arkansas en route to a 15-0 season in which the Tigers captured the national championship.
“I love Death Valley,” Mitchell said. “It’s the best place to play football.”
Mitchell also credited the bond he’s forged with both Orgeron and safeties coach Bill Busch for helping accelerate his decision-making process.
He looks forward to fulfilling a role in first-year defensive coordinator Bo Pellini’s defense similar to the one former standout and Jim Thorpe Award winner Grant Delpit played during his career.
“I built a great relationship with Coach O and Coach Busch, we speak every week and always stay in contact,” Mitchell said. “I see myself being a Delpit type, but I can play any position on the field, wherever they see me fitting in at.”