By Jeff Ermann
Special to The Baltimore Sun
7:00 AM EST, December 21, 2011
Editor's note: Each week, InsideMdSports.com provides this blog with a Maryland recruiting feature that previously appeared as premium content on its site.
After a strong summer during which he showed off a slimmed down physique, improved agility and consistent production, Charles Mitchell vaulted himself onto most Top 100 lists for the national class of 2012. He also became a priority recruit for several high-major programs, perhaps none more so than Maryland.
Mitchell continues to take the recruiting process slowly and doesn’t plan to take any official visits until mid-January or sometime in February. But his deliberate pace hasn’t slowed the Terps, who hit the road Saturday to check out the 6-foot-8, 260-pound power forward from Wheeler High in Marietta, Ga.
“They were here [Saturday] to watch me," Mitchell said. "Coach Bino [Ranson] was here. I got to talk to him a few times. He was just saying they love how I play and talking about how much they want me at Maryland."
Maryland’s staff is searching for a power forward to pair with its frontcourt signees, small forward Jake Layman and center Shaquille Cleare. Mitchell -- averaging 18 points and nine rebounds through seven games -- has long been a top choice.
“They told me how I’d play with the small forward, the big man and the point guard they already have signed and what my role would be if I come," Mitchell said. "I’ve gotten a chance to watch them a few times, so I know a little bit about coach [Mark] Turgeon’s style."
He still hasn’t taken any official visits, but plans to take a few in the next six weeks or so. Right now, the books are the priority.
“I’m just focusing on the first semester of the school year, finishing up strong and also focusing on the first half of my season,” he said.
Mitchell said Maryland is sure to be among his officials. Florida State, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Georgia, Florida State and Tennessee continue to show serious interest, while Texas and DePaul have also recently joined the fray for the wide-bodied forward, who knows what he’s looking for in a school.
“The most important thing to me is my relationship with the coaching staff, starting with the head coach down to the assistant coaches," he said. "The second-most important thing is how I fit with the athletic department and will I be a good fit. And academics, will it be the right place for me and will they have the support."
While Ranson has been the point man in his recruitment, Mitchell has also gotten to know Turgeon.
“They have been showing me strong interest, and my relationship with Coach Bino and Coach Turgeon is really good,” he said. “They still want me as bad as they did in the beginning.”
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