Neither Mike Mitchell nor an Ohio State spokesman would confirm last night that the freshman linebacker intends to transfer after spring semester is done, but insiders said they wouldn’t be surprised because the signs have been there for a while.

Mitchell, from Plano, Texas, has not been taking part in the offseason conditioning program since it began a few weeks ago, an insider told The Dispatch. Another source added that Mitchell has rarely been seen around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center since the team returned from the Orange Bowl the first week of January.

Although it was reported by yesterday that Mitchell wants to transfer to someplace near his family’s home so he can be closer to his ailing father, Ken, it was known during the late fall that Mitchell was not happy in the OSU program. Attempts by The Dispatch to reach him and his father last night were unsuccessful.