Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Collins Hill junior basketball player Devin Mitchell is a top college prospect and one of Gwinnett County's top scorers. Mitchell tied a school record with 41 points and was named the tournament MVP at the inaugural Gainesville Big Red Shootout as the Eagles beat Gainesville 78-74 in double overtime December 29.
After cutting his list of potential colleges down to eight finalists last week, Collins Hill senior Devin Mitchell trimmed it to one Wednesday afternoon.
The 6-foot-4, 175-pound shooting guard announced his commitment to the Alabama men's basketball program with a 3 p.m. post on his Twitter feed, choosing the Crimson Tide over a group of finalists that included the in-state Georgia Bulldogs. Wake Forest, Alabama-Birmingham, Kansas State, Memphis, Ole Miss and Cincinnati also were among his finalists.
His final four candidates ended up as Alabama, Alabama-Birmingham, Georgia and Wake Forest.
"It feels great," Mitchell said. "I'm glad it's over. Alabama just seemed like the right fit for me. When I narrowed it down, Alabama had everything I wanted. … When you know something, you've just got to go with it."
Mitchell, a native of Rockford, Ill., who moved to Georgia when he was 11, is ranked as the No. 78 senior nationally, the No. 15 shooting guard and a four-star prospect by Scout.com. He is ranked as a three-star and No. 130 nationally by Rivals.
As a junior, Mitchell had a breakout season that included a school-record 41 points in the finals of the Gainesville tournament. He averaged 20.2 points, best in Gwinnett County among Class AAAAAA players, up from an 11.3 scoring average as a sophomore.
"Devin had eight good choices and any of them would have been a good choice," Collins Hill boys basketball coach Eric Nathan said. "He was just most comfortable at Alabama. He was most comfortable with that coaching staff. He was most comfortable in that environment. He was ready to commit."
Mitchell joins two of his friends, Riley Norris (6-7 wing, Albertville, Ala.) and Justin Coleman (5-10 guard, Birmingham Wenonah, Ala.), in the Crimson Tide's 2014 class. Both he and Coleman played AAU with the Georgia Stars.
"(Alabama coach Anthony Grant) told me how he wanted to use me in the offense," Mitchell said. "He wants a shot-maker. He's got guys to create and get guys the ball, he needs guys to knock down shots."
Though he can't sign until November, Mitchell said it's nice to finish up his recruiting early so he can focus on his senior high school season. He will be the focal point of a young Eagles team.
"We'll be good," Mitchell said. "I've got a lot of young guys on my team but they step up. They don't play like sophomores or juniors."