The strange tale of freshman wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell took an unexpected (but welcome?) turn today, as the former Michigan signee revealed that he will continue his football career at Rutgers.
Todderick Hunt of NJ.com confirmed the news this afternoon.
And so ends a whirlwind few weeks that saw lots of discussion over the talented receiver's exit from Michigan, and speculation over his next destination.
Questions began to arise earlier this month when Michigan released their 2016 team photo, from which Mitchell and two other players were notably absent. It was revealed two of the players not in the photo had been suspended from the program, but when pressed with questions from media about the identities of the players, coach Jim Harbaugh grew frustrated and cut a press conference short.
It was later confirmed that Mitchell was one of the suspended players. The cause of his suspension remains unknown.
On August 24, Mitchell announced that he would be leaving Ann Arbor and re-opening his recruitment.
Despite the question marks surrounding his early exit from Michigan, the four-star talent received plenty of interest after his release. According to NJ.com, Maryland made the hardest push for Mitchell, but his support system reportedly thought it would be better for him to go somewhere close to home and family, like Temple or Rutgers.
The Owls were supposedly in the mix for a while, but talks began to slow down. Around that time, his Rutgers recruitment heated up. It also probably didn't hurt that two of his former teammates, wide receiver Bo Melton and offensive lineman Owen Bowles, are committed to the program. Now, Mitchell is a Scarlet Knight.
After the scandals and dismissals of the 2015 season, it's natural for Rutgers fans to be a little weary about bringing in a player who was suspended from and departed Michigan before even playing a snap. But Hunt adds that Rutgers has apparently vetted Mitchell carefully, and they think bringing him aboard is worth the risk. As long as Mitchell keeps his nose clean, it's hard to argue against that notion.
Simply put: kid can ball.
He has excellent hands, solid speed, and great size that make him a touchdown threat on any play. A look at his film shows just why he was such a highly sought after player ahead of National Signing Day.
Unfortunately, Rutgers fans will have to wait a while to see Mitchell show off those moves at High Point Solutions Stadium. Since Mitchell had signed with Michigan, he's subject to the same transfer rules as any player. So he will have to sit out the 2016 season, and since he's transferring from one Big Ten school to another, he will forfeit an additional year of eligibility, leaving him three years to play three.
Hunt notes that Mitchell will try to appeal the rule, perhaps even filing for a hardship waiver. If that were approved, Mitchell would be eligible to play in this upcoming season, but that seems very unlikely.
Even with the concerns over his suspension and the sacrifice of his redshirt year plus another year of eligibility, this still has the makings of a great find for Chris Ash and his staff. Mitchell's upside is through the roof, and he seems like the type of player who could thrive in Mehringer's power spread when he arrives in 2017.
Considering a month ago, no one thought Mitchell would be out of Michigan let alone on his way to Rutgers, I'd say this is a very pleasant surprise.
You can take a look at Mitchell's film right here.
Welcome to the Banks, Ahmir!