April 12, 2012

Missouri recruiting gets a makeover

Over the last few years, Missouri's coaches have received a message from high school players.

In response, the Tigers have made some subtle changes to the way they recruit over time. Assistant coaches still recruit their regions. But position coaches have also become involved in recruiting prospects at their position in other areas of the country.

"It's been more of a factor really probably in the last five years. Guys are getting late into recruiting and they want to know who's the guy that they're going to be playing for," Cornell Ford said. "What we're trying to do is to get that coach, that position coach, involved earlier so that they can build the relationship. So it's not just the area recruiter, it's the area recruiter and the position coach as well. We kind of double team them."

Missouri now takes that approach will all of its prospects. But the two-coach approach was particularly valuable in landing two national level targets in the Class of 2012.

"It's a little different philosophy in trying to get guys because what we've seen in recruiting some of the national guys we've recruited, like Evan Boehm, every other guy that was recruiting him that was coming in was an O-Line coach," Yost said. "When we're recruiting Dorial Green-Beckham, other than Arkansas, who recruits Springfield, and Missouri, who recruits Springfield-they had their running back coach and we had our quarterback coach, myself-everybody else that came in was a receiver coach. So we said, okay, that's why coach (Andy) Hill became such a big part. Arkansas did the same thing. Their receivers coach was there just as much as I saw coach Horton."

Recruiting by position is just one way in which the Tigers are altering their approach as they transition to the Southeastern Conference.

"I think, more so than we've done in the past, guys are traveling more," Ford said. "Guys are going to go out and guys are going to nationally recruit. I'm going to nationally recruit corners all over the country and we've never really quite done that in the past. I think it will be more beneficial to us."

The reason is simple: Opportunity.

The SEC will give the Tigers more visibility than they have ever had. However, simply being in the SEC isn't enough, and Missouri's coaches know that.

"We've got to use it," Ford said.

And the way they can capitalize will not change regardless of which league they are in.

"We've got to go out and produce and win football games and kind of keep that going," Yost said.

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