Jackson Mitchell probably didn’t mind getting called to the principal’s office Wednesday.
Six months after giving a verbal commitment, Mitchell, a senior at Ridgefield, signed a National Letter of Intent to play football for UConn on Wednesday morning. The ceremony took place in Principal Dr. Stacey Gross’s office at the high school.
Flooded with suitors following his breakout junior season in 2017, Mitchell chose UConn one week after visiting the campus last summer.
“I really liked the coaches and looked forward to being able to stay close to home and play in front of my family,” Mitchell said after verbally committing in June. “I love the facilities and the mentality of the coaches. I can tell Coach (Randy) Edsall is on his way to doing something special at UConn.”
Staring at both wide receiver and linebacker, the 6-foot2, 212-pound Mitchell was named to the Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State Top 25 team, as well as the Walter Camp All-Connecticut first team, for both the 2017 and 2018 seasons. In addition, he was chosen to the All-FCIAC first team and the GameTimeCT / New Haven Register All-State first team as both a junior and a senior.
As a senior this fall, Mitchell recorded 61 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks. He also intercepted two passes, forced three fumbles, and caught 36 passes for 379 yards and two touchdowns.
Mitchell’s junior season included 38 tackles (two sacks) and 80 receptions for 1,124 yards and 13 touchdowns. He set school records for receptions and receiving yardage with 16 catches for 254 yards in a game against St. Joseph. He also had 13 catches for 210 yards against Fairfield Warde.
Although Mitchell was recruited as a linebacker, he said he would have no problem playing wherever UConn wants him.
“It will depend on the recruiting class and how the team shakes out,” Mitchell said in June, “but I have no preference and I am very capable of playing either [offense or defense] at that level.”
Mitchell was one of 11 players who signed letters of intent with UConn on Wednesday, the first official day of the early signing period. The Huskies went 1-11 this fall — their worst season since moving to Division I-A in 2002.
In addition to UConn, Mitchell also had offers from several other NCAA programs, including Central Connecticut, the University of New Hampshire, Fordham, Sacred Heart, Towson, Colgate, Villanova, Monmouth, and Dartmouth.