SEC Football: Breaking down the finalists for five-star CB Tony Mitchell

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SEC Football

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

One of the nation’s top defensive back recruits in the 2023 class, five-star cornerback Tony Mitchell recently released a list of his four finalists, a group solely comprised of SEC Football teams.

Attending Thompson High School, Mitchell is considered as the No. 2 overall player in the state of Alabama, as well as the No. 15 overall player nationally according to the 247Sports Composite. A versatile defensive back, Mitchell has been a multi-year starter for the three-time Alabama Class 7A state champions, totaling over a combined 200 tackles and seven interceptions across the past three seasons.

A truly-elite defensive back prospect at 6-foot-2 who could play multiple positions at the next level, Mitchell has the potential to instantly make an impact as a freshman in 2023. Where will that impact be, and how would the five-star potentially fit with each of his finalists?

Breaking down the SEC Football finalists for five-star CB Tony Mitchell

Alabama Crimson Tide

Looking back at recent years, the Crimson Tide have landed the top defensive back recruit in the state of Alabama each of the past three years, as well as the state’s top two overall players each of the past two years. Could Mitchell potentially make it four consecutive years that the state of Alabama’s top defensive back recruit lands in Tuscaloosa?

The Crimson Tide’s 2023 defensive back class is already off to a phenomenal start as Alabama holds a commitment from fellow five-star in-state prospect Jahlil Hurley, as well as other notable players from the state such as Wilkin Formby and Yhonzae Pierre. The addition of Mitchell would obviously give the Crimson Tide a cornerback duo in their 2023 class that few teams, if any, nationally could match, pairing those with another four-star safety in Elliot Washington.

As for the potential fit in Tuscaloosa, a majority of the Crimson Tide’s secondary is set to move on at the conclusion of the 2022 season as Eli Ricks, Jordan Battle, and DeMarcco Hellams will be off to the NFL, while Brian Branch and Malachi Moore could do the same. While Alabama is a team loaded with depth at defensive back, the competition at those positions will be wide-open, and a player with the versatility of Mitchell could be a candidate to start from day one.

Also, Alabama is no stranger to landing elite defensive talent from Thompson High School in recent years, with five-star EDGE Jeremiah Alexander and four-star CB Trequon Fegans both in the Crimson Tide’s 2022 class. Could Mitchell, and potentially even five-star DL Peter Woods, continue to build the pipeline from Thompson to Alabama?

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