The fifth edition in our third annual ‘SoFloBulls.com USF Football Highlights Series‘ brings you a Tarpon Springs High School alum that has proven himself as a devastating blocking machine at the edge with hands as reliable as Dallas Cowboy’s returning staple Jason Witten! This bay area Bull has been an absolute star for his hometown college program and we expect another monster year from him in 2019: USF tight end #MoneyMakinMitch Mitchell Wilcox 2018 Highlights. (Twitter: @wilcox_mitchell // IG: @mitch_w89) Our 2018 highlight reel clearly illustrates why Wilcox has the full attention of NFL teams and scouts.
Wilcox posted an absolutely stellar performance for the Bulls in 2018 season with 43 receptions for 540 yards, which made him the USF program single season record holder for a tight end in receptions (43) and receiving yards (540). Wilcox was named first team All-American Athletic Conference (AAC and Phil Steele), and named to the Mackey Award Watch List for the second consecutive year after leading All American Athletic Conference tight ends in receiving yards.
Wilcox’s eight reception performance in the 25-19 victory over Illinois at Soldier Field made him the USF program single game receptions record holder for a tight end (8). The redshirt senior finished third on the team in receiving yards and second in receptions while also being a key blocker for the Bulls which led to running back Jordan Cronkrite becoming just the ninth 1,000+ rushing yard season in USF program history and tie the USF program record for consecutive 100+ yard rushing games with five.
Wilcox also became the USF program career record holder in receiving yards by a tight end (976) in 2018. After redshirting in 2015, Wilcox emerged as USF’s top tight end in 2016 and was named Second Team All-Conference. His 12 receptions for 278 yards (23.2) and two touchdowns helped Willie Taggart’s Gulf Coast Offense set program single season records for touchdowns (77) and yards of total offense (6,650)..
According to SBD, odds of a USF player being taken in the NFL Draft is unlikely this year (odds are 100/1). Five players from USF in the last two years alone have been drafted by NFL teams (Marlon Mack, Rodney Adams, Kofi Amichia, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Deadrin Senat), but not a single USF player received an invitation to the 2019 NFL combine. Wilcox would have been a mid-round pick, but instead chose to return for his senior season. That would have left running back Jordan Cronkrite as arguably the next best USF prospect, but he wasn’t featured on any preliminary reputable big boards so he also opted to stay put.
I reached out to the towering tight end for the quick Q&A below to wet your palates as the first week of USF Spring practices kicked off, enjoy!
1. Favorite play since being a Bull?
MW: “My crazy touchdown catch vs UConn at home my freshman year (2016).”
2. Favorite play of 2018?
MW: “My 38 yard touchdown catch vs. Cincinnati.”
3. What is your nickname in the locker room?
MW: “Deangelo Antoine, D’Ernest Johnson, and few others started calling me Money Makin’ Mitch and it stuck.”
4. How has your relationship grown with Blake Barnett since the beginning of last season?
MW: “I was one of the first guys to shake Blake’s [Barnett] hand when he first came to check out USF and our relationship has grown ever since. Blake is a class act, a big time competitor, and it’s great to share to close connection on and off the field with him.”
5. Thing you are most excited about for 2019?
MW: “I’m most excited to compete with my brothers as a senior and team leader, and go take W’s all season.”
Wilcox joined the Bulls as a part of Willie Taggart’s heralded USF recruiting class of 2015. Wilcox was rated an 82.64 three-star by 247 Sports, three stars by Scout, a three star 73 by ESPN, and 5.50 three star by Rivals. Wilcox held offers from Ball State, James Madison, and Miami (Ohio) among others. Wilcox earned FHSAA’s 2014 Florida All-State 5A Honorable Mention honors, was named to All-Big County Preps’ First-Team Offense after posting 347 yards on 21 catches for three touchdowns. As two way player at Tarpon Springs High School for head coach Ron Hawn, Wilcox amassed 61 total tackles and 17.5 tackles for loss on the other side of the ball as a defensive lineman.
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by Matthew Manuri
Publisher & Editor, SoFloBulls.com | @Mcknurkle