By Phil Anastasia
Cedar Creek quarterback Damon Mitchell has decided to make an official recruiting visit this weekend to Arkansas.
The surprsing development has an interesting side effect: Rutgers could emerge as a destination for the 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 SJ 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, according to Cedar Creek coach Tim Watson.
"I'd rather somebody quit on me now than quit on me two years from now," Mitchell said.
National Signing Day is Feb. 6.
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 6-3, 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," Watspon 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.
REYNOLDS COMMITS TO TEMPLE
Atlantic City's Dayshawn Reynolds, an All-South Jersey first-team selection as a wide receiver, has commited to Temple, Atlantic City coach Thomas Kelly said Tuesday.
The 6-1, 185-pound Reynolds caught 50 passes for 907 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for the Vikings. He was recruited to play cornerback for the Owls, Kelly said.
"As much as I'd like to see him still catching balls, I think he can play for a long time at cornerback," Kelly said. "I watch those NFL games on Sundays. You don't see a lot of 6-1 corners. With his explosiveness and his speed, the sky is the limit for him."
A top athlete, Reynolds also is a standout guard for the Atlantic City basketball team. He started last season as the Vikings won the Group 4 state title and he has been a key contributor this year's team, which is No. 1 in The Inquirer's South Jersey Top 10.
-- Contact Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.