Sooners TE commit Davon Mitchell: ‘I’m going to compete for it all’

Sooners TE commit Davon Mitchell: ‘I’m going to compete for it all’

Four-star Oklahoma tight end commit Davon Mitchell spoke with Sellout Crowd about why he reclassified, his relationship with quarterback pledge Michael Hawkins and the OU legacy he wants to leave.

Eli Lederman

By Eli Lederman

| Dec 18, 2023, 11:00am CST

Eli Lederman

By Eli Lederman

Dec 18, 2023, 11:00am CST

NORMAN — Davon Mitchell was the No. 1 tight end and the No. 19 overall prospect in the class of 2025.

Then, motivated by a drive to accelerate his football development, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound four-star recruit committed to Oklahoma in July and opted to reclassify into the class of 2024.

That motivation is what prompted the standout tight end from Allen (Texas) High School to Los Alamitos (California) for the 2023 season. It’s what will pull Mitchell to Norman as a mid-year enrollee next month, too. 

After spending his junior season at Los Alamitos, Mitchell will sign with the Sooners Wednesday as the program’s highest-ranked tight end recruit since Austin Stogner arrived as the No. 3 tight end in the 2023 class.

As the early signing period gets set to open, the Sooners’ tight end of the future spoke with Sellout Crowd on why he reclassified, his connection with four-star quarterback commit Michael Hawkins and his aspiration to leave an OU legacy.

Question: You’re viewed as OU’s next great tight end prospect. Who’s the tight end you watch and wish you could play like? 

Answer: “Honestly, it’s Travis Kelce. I like the way Kelce plays.”

Okay, I have to ask — what do you think of him and Taylor Swift?

“That was a shocker. I didn’t even realize it at first. I’m happy for him though.”

What is it about Travis Kelce’s game that connects with you?

“I like the fact that he’s able to make big-time catches — competitive catches. That’s something I’m good at doing. I’m a great blocker. He runs good routes. That’s something that I really like about him.”

What do you know about tight ends coach Joe Jon Finley’s approach to the position?

Coach Finley likes a tight end that can block and catch and make competitive plays. That’s something we see eye-to-eye about.”

There were murmurs that Joe Jon Finley might follow Jeff Lebby to Mississippi State. What did it mean to see him stick around and get promoted to co-offensive coordinator?

“I don’t understand how you could really go wrong when you’ve got the tight ends coach as an OC. I’m happy that he got the job. We’ll be cooking some stuff up for me and the team.”

How about Seth Littrell? Did you know much about him before he took over play-calling duties?

“I knew he had a history at a few schools. I didn’t know him much at first. But now that we’ve gotten to talking, we’re trying to get closer.”

So, you reclassified to the 2024 class. How old will you be when you step on campus next month? What year of school would you have been in if you hadn’t reclassified?  

I’ll be 18. The spring would have been the second semester of my junior year.”

What did it take for you to qualify to graduate early and reclassify? 

“Honestly, you just gotta take classes. Make sure you do it beforehand. I took a lot of classes in the summer. So I‘ve just been taking classes and trying to get it all done so I can come in and learn early.”

What was your motivation for moving into the 2024 class? 

“My quarterback — (2024 Sooners commit) Michael Hawkins. From the time I started high school, I’ve played everything with him. I don’t want to be behind when I get up there and have to catch up with him. So we’ll be on the same page and that’s really where the motivation came from.”

Is that why you transferred from Allen to Los Alamitos for your senior season?

“Yeah — to graduate early. Texas required more hours than what they do in California. 

I wish I could have played with Mike (Hawkins) one more year. It didn’t happen. The team I’m on now, I’ve built a great relationship with them. Good guys. Lots of hard workers. It wasn’t really a big difference.”

You know Michael Hawkins well. What excites you about playing with Jackson Arnold?

“Honestly, everything. I played against him when I was at Allen one time. He ran through our whole team. He was throwing great balls and running through us. The BYU game – he was there for it. He did some great stuff.”

You land on campus next month. What’s the non-football component you’re most looking forward to in Norman?

“I’m excited to build connections with people. Getting to help out  — especially the SOUL Mission. I’m excited to take trips out to Africa and all kinds of stuff. Take food to the kids and stuff. I’m excited for that.”

Do you know what you’re planning to study?

“Business management.”

You achieved one goal in getting on campus early. What are you hoping for in Year 1 at OU?

“Honestly, getting playing time on the field early. I’m not expecting anything to be given to me. I’m going to just go in there and bust my tail off and try to get rolling.”

Without a returning starter at tight end, there will be opportunities at the position in 2024? How much of that is on your mind?

“That ain’t nothing. I don’t care who’s in the tight end room. I’m going to compete for it all. If I win it, I win it. I’ve just got to improve on some stuff. I’m just going to go in there and beat out whoever is supposed to be in front of me.”

If you could leave OU with a legacy in three or four years time, what would you want it to look like?

“I want to go to the NFL. But I also want people to remember me as a good person. It’s not always going to be about football. I hope they remember me as a good person and somebody who likes to help everybody. Finish with a degree. Those are my main goals.”

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Eli Lederman reports on the University of Oklahoma for Sellout Crowd. He began his professional career covering the University of Missouri with the Columbia Missourian and later worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before two years writing on the Sooners and Cowboys at the Tulsa World. Born and raised in Mamaroneck, New York, Lederman grew up a rabid consumer of the New York sports pages and an avid fan of the New York Mets. He entered sportswriting at 14 years old and later graduated from the University of Missouri. Away from the keyboard, he can usually be found exploring the Oklahoma City food scene or watching/playing fútbol (read: soccer). He can be reached at [email protected].

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