Game Of The Week Difference-Maker: Fossil Ridge’s Tyler Mitchell

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Photo via Tom Marvin – FW Star-Telegram
By: Hunter Cooke (@HunterTXHSFB)
September 14th, 2016


Tyler Mitchell isn’t a guy that’s going to jump out at you when he walks off the bus. He’s 6’3, 220 lbs, and at defensive end, he can look a little skinny at times. That shouldn’t shy anyone away from taking a good hard look at this kid, he’s a pass rush extraordinaire.

The more you watch him, the more impressed you are with his ability to create space between himself and the offensive linemen and his hand movements. In terms of playing at the next level, he’s going to need to put on some weight, but in terms of high school football, he’s one of the top edge rushers in the state. He can hit you inside, he can hit you outside, he can use a spin move, he can simply rip off the edge, he really can do it all.

Rowlett offensive linemen can’t expect to set up deep in the pocket and just zone his speed away. Mitchell has a lethal combination of speed and quickness; he changes direction very fast for a defensive end. He’s at his best when he can pin his ears back and attack, but the end is going to have to be careful against Rowlett. They’re good enough to where simply attacking them won’t work the entire game.

If I’m Rowlett and watching Mitchell, I’m worried about how fast we can get a blocker on him in the running game. He’s got the pass rush moves, yes, but if left unchecked he can dominate the edge of the tackle box. Against Mitchell, everything Rowlett has to do will be sped up to account for his quickness off the edge. If you’re making a read in the read-option, you better make it quick. If you’re throwing a screen or a swing pass, you better make it quick.

That’s honestly what Mitchell is best at doing: forcing the offense to make a decision. He eliminates options on the field, and that allows the rest of his teammates to make plays if the offense chooses a sub-optimal choice. Rowlett’s going to need to chip him with a running back in the pass game and maybe consider not running much read option to his side if they’re going to score points this weekend.

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