SUWANEE, Ga. - Offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt presents a major challenge to opposing defensive ends.
Few know this better than Dante Sawyer.
The four-star defender, a teammate of Hyatt's at Georgia's North Gwinnett High School, faces him regularly in practice.
"He's very long, he's got long arms, he outsmarts a guy even before he knows where he's going," Sawyer said. "That's what Mitch does. He knows what you're about to do before you do it."
With a prototypical tackle frame (he's 6 feet 6, 271 pounds) and the football smarts to go with it, Hyatt is one of the most sought-after rising juniors nationally, having already accumulated more than 20 offers.
In the Top247 for 2015, which will be released in its entirety Wednesday, he debuts with the No. 4 overall ranking.
“It is almost overwhelming when you think about it honestly,” Hyatt said. “I never thought I would be in this position, but it is a good thing,”
Hyatt, who completed spring practice Saturday night, is coming off an outstanding sophomore season during which North Gwinnett beat some quality teams, notably state-power Grayson in the playoffs. In that game, Hyatt was tasked with blocking No. 1 overall 2013 prospect Robert Nkemdiche.
To the amazement of many, he neutralized his well-hyped opponent.
In the words of Sawyer, "He shut Robert down basically. He couldn't do anything. Mitch was throwing him across the field."
Next season, Hyatt will face another elite end when North Gwinnett plays Norcross and five-star prospect Lorenzo Carter.
"I don’t know too much about him, but I have seen him at a few camps," Hyatt said. "He is a super-talented, really fast athlete. I watched him play basketball. It's going to be fun going against him.”
Assessing his own game, Hyatt said, "My strengths are probably my feet. I used to play defensive line so I have good feet and hands. I think right now I need to work more on my technique going into this season.”
This summer, Hyatt plans to use his time wisely. He not only will be working to improve, but taking some college visits. He said he is pretty open right now, though some consider Clemson the early team to beat because his uncle played there and was on the Tigers' 1981 national championship squad.
“I am heading to Ohio State and Clemson," Hyatt said. "Ohio State will probably be just for a visit. Clemson will be a one-day camp. I am thinking about going somewhere else, but I am not sure yet.”
"Hyatt is the top pure offensive tackle in the 2015 class. Not only is he currently over 6 feet 5 and 271 pounds, and still growing, but he is blessed with as much body quickness as one will see at the position. He reacts with quickness with the feet, body and hands at an elite level. Hyatt also possesses terrific lateral ability, as well as the ability to play in space. He's physical, aggressive and is always looking to hit. He does a very good job at a young age of creating power with his hips, lower body and has the ability to run the feet. In pass pro, he displays a solid, balanced base with the ability to take contact and react under control. Advanced for his age, he also plays in both a two and three-point stance. He shows excellent ankle flexibility, knee bend and overall athletic ability in both stances. Having played at 258 pounds as a sophomore, and up to 271 as of the weekend, Hyatt is just beginning to mature physically. He has the frame to carry 300 pounds or more and while he doesn't have extremely long arms, he has nice arm length. In terms of a baseline skill set with which to develop over the coming years, Hyatt is starting from an excellent place." – Gerry Hamilton, National Scouting Director, 247Sports
- Start Photo Feature ▶
- Showing photos 1 - 4 of 4