Joe Mixon, an elite running back from Freedom High School in Oakley, California, has committed to the Oklahoma Sooners at the US Army All-American Bowl, choosing the Sooners over Wisconsin and UCLA.
The big surprise was the fact that Mixon had a California Golden Bears hat on the table during his announcement after shooting down rumors during the week that he was still considering Cal:
Mixon setup. A Cal hat is on the table... pic.twitter.com/CrmAGniSDI— Joey Helmer (@joeyhelmer10) January 4, 2014
Despite that unexpected development, heavily favored Oklahoma still ended up with Mixon's commitment after missing earlier in the day on fellow California product Dwight Williams, a four-star linebacker who committed to UCLA.
Mixon, who stands in at 6'2, 195 pounds, is a consensus five-star player on the 247Sports Composite rankings. He ranks first among all-purpose backs in the 2014 class, and third among California recruits this year, behind only Adoree Jackson and John "JuJu" Smith.
Before committing, Mixon had interest from pretty much every program in the country, with Notre Dame, Florida State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas, Texas A&M and Arizona State among his 44 offers. He culled those down to a final three.
Here's a small look at SB Nation's scouting report on Mixon, who is a threat in all phases of the game.
A player who is more fast than quick, Mixon doesn't use a vast assortment of moves, but shows the ability the make tacklers miss with subtle changes of direction when operating in space. Primarily, he is the type of runner you'd like to see use one cut and get going downhill, making use of his acceleration.
In the pass game Mixon appears to have good hands but his most impressive attribute might be his route running ability. On tape he runs a nice assortment of patterns, but what really stands out is his ability to sell his routes and create separation from linebackers after inducing them to lose leverage.
Ultimately, Mixon is a national recruit at the running back position with his frame and long speed. He eventually projects to top out at around 215 pounds with the ability to retain his big play ability. Getting on the field early should be no problem and will likely operate in a rotation or as a complimentary back during the early stages of his career, with the upside to be an All-Conference type of feature back in either his second or third year on campus.
Mixon is the 19th commitment in the Oklahoma class, which ranked No. 32 nationally in the 247Sports Composite team rankings prior to his pledge, but will move up with the addition of the five-star prospect. Joining Mixon in the running back class for the Sooners is physical Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson bruiser Samaje Perine, a combination that should work together well for Oklahoma in the future.