Freedom (Oakley, Calif.) running back Joe Mixon is a family-oriented guy.
As offers from major schools have come rolling in since his junior film started circulating, the opinions of coaches and programs haven't been the first thing on his mind.
Making his family proud has been much more gratifying.
"It's been crazy. My family and all have been wanting to see my film and some have been hearing about me. They really don't know. Then I send them my film and they go crazy over it and love it," Mixon said. "The last couple of days have been so many quick-hitter offers. They have been coming from big colleges that are coming at me, but my family is just amazed at how I do it. You know, talent always runs in the family but they think how much exposure I have gotten is crazy."
The Rivals100 playmaker is on the brink of 30 offers as the spring evaluation period approaches, and his plight to get to this point started with when he was a freshman at Freedom High.
"My freshman year was a good experience. I got my first experience of high school football. I did very [well] my freshman year," he said. "My sophomore year was my first year on varsity. It was pretty good. I was playing with 17, 18, and 19 year olds and as a 15 year old I still did well. I had like 15 touchdowns. My junior year is when I really blew up. I hit the weights more. I got bigger and I got faster so everything blew up. I had like 30 touchdowns and it has been crazy since."
One of Mixon's latest offers came from a program that couldn't get much further than his Northern California location, but the coach that extended the offer caught his eye with a flattering comparison.
"Georgia offered me earlier this week. The running backs coach, Coach (Bryan) McClendon, gave me the offer," Mixon said when asked how he received the UGA offer. "It was the first time I had talked to him. He was excited to speak with me and offer me. He said my film was one of the best films he has seen in years. He compared me to Todd Gurley. He said that coming as a true freshman I could do what Gurley did."
While the distance between Mixon's current home and Athens is vast, the four-star prospect says he has a great deal of interest in the Bulldogs.
"I like a lot about Georgia. Georgia has impressed me a lot," he said. "I was watching Gurley come out of that backfield. That guy is a beast. The Georgia coaches were saying that when Gurley leaves, I could possibly come in as a true freshman and compete for a starting job. They say I play just like Gurley and they compared me to him and they said they love my film. I'm hoping that it might happen."
Staying close to home is something that is heavily considered by most recruits, but Mixon says he is different in that regard.
He is open to going anywhere to play college ball.
"It doesn't matter where I go," he said. "Being home is not a factor at all in this recruitment. I want to basically just do what is best with me and build a good relationship with the coaches and players as I get out there. Pretty much being home is not a factor at all."
Due to his interest in the UGA program and his willingness to move away from the west coast for the next stage of his football career, Mixon says that a trip to Athens is at least probable.
Georgia is definitely a place I'm planning on visiting," Mixon said. "I don't know when, but I may make an unofficial. I want to visit during football season probably on an official visit when they play a good school. I want to see what it is all about."
New teams are putting hats into the ring every day in Mixon's recruitment, but several schools have been after him for quite awhile and are recruiting him harder than the rest.
"Cal has been recruiting me really hard," he said. "Michigan has been recruiting me and Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, Wisconsin and Washington. All of those schools have been recruiting me the hardest."
As a 6-foot-2, 210-pound back, Mixon is the type that can handle 25-plus carries a game, but he doesn't care how he gets those touches.
He believes he can succeed in any system.
"It really doesn't matter what I do. I can pretty much do anything in any offense is how I feel," he said. "I feel like I would fit good Georgia's offense or one like that."
Mixon says that he doesn't have any leaders at present, but plants to trim his list of schools in the near future and start to focus on his top schools.
After the UGA offer this week, he believes he knows one school that will be near the top.
"I'll probably start figuring things out in the next two months," Mixon said of his timeline for making a decision. "I'll start narrowing it down, but I'm pretty sure Georgia will be one of the tops on my list."
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