Cedar Creek quarterback Damon Mitchell has decided to make an official recruiting visit this weekend to Arkansas.
The surprising development - Mitchell has committed to Georgia Tech - could have an interesting side effect: Rutgers could emerge as a destination for the first-team All-South Jersey athlete.
Mitchell, who ran for 22 touchdowns and passed for 21 in leading Cedar Creek to a 10-2 record and the South Jersey Group 2 title game, said he made the decision after a home visit by Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on Sunday.
Bielema was the coach at Wisconsin when Mitchell visited there in the fall.
"It's an SEC school, and I feel like I owe it to myself to check it out," Mitchell said. "I have to take a look at it."
Mitchell said he knows that he is risking his scholarship offer from Georgia Tech by visiting Arkansas. Mitchell committed to Georgia Tech in July and said two weeks ago that he wasn't visiting any other schools and was set on playing for the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech coaches have told Mitchell that they might pull his scholarship offer if he visits another school, Cedar Creek coach Tim Watson said.
"I'd rather somebody quit on me now than quit on me two years from now," Mitchell said.
Watson said he believed the level of competiton in the SEC is a lure for Mitchell.
"You're talking about the SEC West with 'Bama, LSU, Texas A&M, Florida," Watson said. "He'll have to step up, but it would force him to be the best player he can be."
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Mitchell said Arkansas projects him as a quarterback, not a defensive back.
Watson said Mitchell had some misgivings that he would not fully develop his passing skills in Georgia Tech's triple-option attack.
"I think he had that splinter in his mind," Watson said.
If Mitchell decides not to accept Arkansas' scholarship offer, and Georgia Tech pulls its offer, he could end up at Rutgers, Watson said.
"This could open up the back door for Rutgers," Watson said.