Texas Football: Analyzing 3 most underrated 2023 early signees

Sydir Mitchell, Texas football
Sydir Mitchell, Texas football /
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Sydir Mitchell, DL

One of the early signees in the Longhorns 2023 class that I am most excited about is another “big human” that will be competing in the trenches on the other side of the ball as Stroh, four-star Oradell Bergen Catholic (NJ) defensive lineman Sydir Mitchell.

Texas did a great job fending a big late run from the Georgia Bulldogs to get Mitchell to officially sign on the dotted line on Dec. 21. A report from On3’s Chad Simmons earlier this week (paid content) notes that Georgia visited Mitchell multiple times in the last few weeks.

Any defensive lineman that Georgia wants that much is something special.

The gigantic 6-foot-5 and 335-pound Mitchell clearly projects as someone that will anchor the middle of the defensive line. If he doesn’t fit as a nose tackle along the defensive line, something will have changed in a resounding way with his frame.

Mitchell is just a natural fit for co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Pete Kwiatkowski and the Longhorns to run the 2-4-5 defensive scheme.

He occupies so much space in the trenches and can move so many bodies that Mitchell can help PK and the Longhorns free up the other edge rushers on the outside to have an easier path to get to the opposing quarterback. The same concept applies to the amount of space that Mitchell can take up to help the edge rushers and second-level linebackers clean up plays in run defense for short or no gain.

What makes me so excited about Mitchell’s impact on this defense, in particular, is the speed at which he’s able to move at the line of scrimmage. Mitchell is a lot more agile than you would expect out of a 340-pound interior defensive lineman. That foot speed and insane mass can move bodies off the line of scrimmage and blow up the pocket in the blink of an eye.

A lot of what we’ve seen from Bo Davis’ interior defensive line during the regular season, just in terms of dominating games from beginning to end, is something that won’t drop off with a player like Mitchell in the mix. Mitchell can wreak havoc on opposing offenses by generating pressure up the middle. He’ll also make life easier for his teammates since he can move bodies so effectively off the line of scrimmage.

Next. Position-by-position grades for the 2023 signing class. dark

Among the three underrated 2023 early signees included on this list for the Longhorns, I’m most confident that Mitchell will have a clear path to getting live-game reps as a true freshman. Mitchell will have a shot to get in the defensive line rotation next year behind the likes of senior T’Vondre Sweat, sophomore Byron Murphy II, and junior Alfred Collins.