Hillsborough High's Terrence Mitchell, one of the nation's most sought-after defensive backs, switched his verbal commitment from Florida State University to the University of South Florida, the senior said Friday.
"I just feel more comfortable playing at home, and I feel like I can do something special at home, right here in my own backyard," Mitchell said. "My mind's made up. I'm a Bull now."
Although he has always played safety at Hillsborough, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Mitchell is the No. 5-ranked cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com.
On Jan. 14, Mitchell said he was making a verbal commitment to FSU. At the time, he said the Seminoles and FSU's campus in Tallahassee "felt like home" and that he got along with "all the players and coaches."
Mitchell also said at the time of his commitment to FSU that he wanted to run track for the three-time NCAA champion Seminoles. In addition, he said his decision not to originally commit to USF was swayed partially by the upheaval at the school, including the dismissal of Bulls coach Jim Leavitt.
But that was before the Bulls hired Skip Holtz as their new coach. Mitchell said he met Holtz and some of his staff last week at the school. Thursday night, Holtz visited Mitchell at home.
After thinking it over, Mitchell, who was a four-year starter at Hillsborough, changed his mind and decided to make the switch to South Florida, where his close cousin and former Hillsborough teammate Lindsey Lamar is a running back.
"When I made my commitment to FSU, Coach Holtz wasn't here," Mitchell said. "He's down-to-earth, a player's coach. Everything with him is about the players."