Ryland Mitchell models his game after Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Mitchell’s versatility is what attracted Army to the Summerville (S.C.) senior defensive back. Mitchell’s junior highlight video included 116 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and an interception.
The ball-hawking, hard-hitting safety visited West Point Thursday and before the day was over, he committed to head coach Jeff Monken and the Black Knights.
“I already knew it was where I wanted to go (before the visit) so it was an easy choice because of the benefits and other things that West Point provides you with,” said Mitchell, who is 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds.
Mitchell’s decision came down to Army and Navy, which also offered. He said that he chose Army because, “the campus was better, the view, the environment and definitely the coaching staff.”
Mitchell developed a strong early connection with Army safeties coach Danny Verpaele, his recruiting coach. Verpaele offered Mitchell in late June about a month after Navy.
“It (Army) felt like home and throughout the time me and Coach V got to know each other and spent time talking,” Mitchell said.
A former basketball player, Mitchell still runs track. When Mitchell isn’t watching football film in his free time, he loves to draw. Mitchell is entering his third year as a starter for Summerville, which advanced to the Class AAAAA Lower State championship game last season.