Redshirt freshman and former Michigan signee Ahmir Mitchell was injured at practice this past Saturday. There were rumors online it was serious and Rutgers football confirmed in a press release today that Mitchell tore his ACL. From the release:
Mitchell will undergo surgery and is expected to recover in time to return to competition in the fall. The 2017 season is the first for Mitchell, who sat out 2016 due to NCAA transfer rules. He has four years of eligibility remaining.
The good news is it’s now confirmed that Mitchell did not lose a year of eligibility by transferring within the Big Ten last fall. It was originally ruled that he would only have three seasons remaining due to conference rules, but a waiver was applied for by the program and he is officially listed as a redshirt freshman on his bio.
The bad news is the talented, former 4-star recruit was challenging for a starting spot at wide receiver for next season, but will now miss significant time. He was listed as a starter on the depth chart released last week. Rutgers seems optimistic he may be able to return at some point during the 2017 season, but it certainly shouldn’t be expected by fans. The most important thing is that he makes a full, healthy recovery.
With his brother, Damon, on the roster as a graduate transfer, this was their only season they could possibly play together. It would be unfortunate if that did not transpire.
Here is footage Mitchell posted from the ring of honor drill from a recent practice, in which he demonstrated his strength and blocking technique:
Head coach Chris Ash said this about Ahmir just last week:
"He's really bought in. The thing I love about Ahmir right now is his competitive spirit. When you look at guys that are competing every single day, I don't know if we have a player out there that's competing more than Ahmir every single day."
The long term focus is on Mitchell making a full recovery, which is expected. Having four years of eligibility means there is plenty of time for Mitchell to blossom on the banks and this setback is merely temporary. His future remains very bright at Rutgers. Best wishes on a speedy recovery, Ahmir!
Set backs only cause for comebacks...— Ahmir_SoDevoted (@TheDeuce_2_Nice) April 1, 2017