Every other Thursday, PowerMizzou.com staff writer Pete Scantlebury will answer questions from subscribers in our Recruiting Mailbag. This feature will allow for longer, more in-depth answers than you may get on the message board on a daily basis. To have your question in next week's mailbag, send an email to Pete at firstname.lastname@example.org. On to this week's inquiries:
TnMizzou asks: When are the camps and what in-state guys could earn an offer and do you know of any out-of-state guys to watch for?
PS: The camps are on June 1 (Springfield), June 6 (St. Louis) and June 8 (Kansas City), with the first session of the team camp going from June 3 to June 5. Last year, there was a record turnout for these camps, and I'm sure the coaches are expecting the same thing.
The in-state guys who could pick up offers include Bernard Thomas, Montae Jones, Andrew Ness, Malcolm Agnew, Jason Meehan and guys like Robert Standard and Darrian Miller. I'm sure I'm leaving a few out, but those are the players that jump to my mind first.
As for out-of-state guys to look for, I have no idea at this point because we don't know who will attend. Many of the out-of-state guys that come to these camps have flown under the radar, and come as surprises. For instance, we learned about Xavier Smith and Aaron Colvin (now an OU signee) for the first time at last year's KC camp. It'll be interested to see who surprises this year
MIZtigerZOU asks: Seeing that there are few, if any, in-state OL getting an offer, who of these out-of-state OL do you see ending up at Mizzou? Seems as if all these guys are huge gets with early and impressive offer lists. Do any of them have any sort of ties to Mizzou that would increase our chances?
PS: It's too early to say who will end up at Missouri, but the Tigers do have connections with some of those OL they've offered. Tony Posada, for instance, has family in Kansas City, and his uncle attended Missouri. Mitch Hall, who has named Missouri and Ole Miss as his top two, has known the Tigers for a while now, as they recruited his older brother Matt a few years ago. Mitch Smothers and Taylor Chappell have visited as well, so they are more familiar with Missouri than some of the others.
mizzouboy714 asks: With this year it seems the coaching staff is focusing more on the o-line, etc. Does that mean that the coaching staff will focus more on skill players in 2012 with players like Durron Neal and Dorial Green?
PS: To be short, yes, although Missouri would make room for Neal and Green even if they wanted to bring in 20 linemen in next year's class.
The Tigers will lose Brandon Gerau, Jerrell Jackson and Wes Kemp after 2011, so wide receiver will be a position of focus. They'll also lose Andrew Jones, Michael Egnew and Beau Brinkley, so clearly they'll want to make up for that loss of production at (possibly) their most important positions on the field. The 2012 class could be very receiver heavy.
mufootball1 asks: Given the outstanding spring that Eric Waters is having, do you think that may work against Mizzou in recruiting Dan Tapko? Also, if Tapko were to play DE, Mizzou has great depth there as well for the next few years. Does that also hurt Mizzou's chances in your opinion?
PS: Yes, depth at a position can certainly hurt a team's chances with a top recruit. However, Missouri has shown a willingness to utilize two tight ends, and with Jones and Egnew leaving after 2011, Tapko would find himself with the chance to be near the top of the depth chart in his second year.
As for defensive end, I think it's become apparent that Missouri -- and many of the teams recruiting Tapko -- see him as an offensive threat. I don't think that will have any effect, but it's similar to tight end. Aldon Smith and Jacquies Smith will be gone after 2011, so depth isn't as big a concern as it seems.
However, Tapko has said he wants to play in more of a traditional tight end role. At this point, Missouri hasn't shown that role yet. It could change, but right now, that might affect his decision.
mightymaryland2007 asks: Having never seen Corbin Berkstresser[/d]b] play, what can we expect from this kid? Obviously the coaches LOVE him to offer him that early. Any comparisons to other players? And as has been said here many times it sounds like the kid is an active recruiter. Who exactly is he trying to convince to come to Mizzou?
PS: I've only seen Berkstresser play one time, at a jamboree, so I might not be the best person to answer this questions. At that game, however, I was impressed with his arm strength and size, but he seemed very, very raw. Now, from what I hear, he doesn't play with the best talent in high school, so that could affect him.
I know he's not the fastest guy in the world, but he can move once he gets going. I think he's going to be a work-in-progress, and he'll be coming into a perfect situation at Missouri. The Tigers have plenty of quarterbacks for the future, and that will allow Berkstresser to sit back and learn from them for the first two years of his career here. His upside is untapped at this point, and I think that's what the coaches see.
He recruited [db]Wesley Leftwich heavily, and I know he was a big factor in Leftwich's decision. He's also been in contact with Tapko a bit, but nothing substantial at this point.
stlsportsdude89 asks: Kody Walker has said he wants to see how well we run the ball next year. If he is here for the Mizzou spring game and D-Wash runs the ball as well as he did last scrimmage, do you think that would be enough to get him to commit?
PS: IF he is here (which he isn't sure about yet), I don't think that would be enough. I heard that he was close to making a decision, but he's picked up some new offers lately and I think he's taking a step back to explore all his options. Missouri is still in pretty good position, but I think this one takes more time.
TD85 asks: I think you hacve stated there will only be 16 spots to give for 2011. Do you really believe there will only be 16 schollies available? I know what the current numbers say, but it seems like with classes that stacked there will be a "higher than normal" number of RS freshmen and sophs who may come to realize they might not ever get much PT and decide to leave.
I just have a hard time believing 16 is all we will end up with.
PS: 16 is the number I've heard from sources close to the football team. Could it be more? Absolutely. But, I feel certain in saying this class will be under 20. I keep fluctuating between 16 and 18, but with the way offers are being handed out right now, I'm low-balling my estimate. It's a long way till Feb 2011, however, so a lot can change. Like you said, there could be more transfers because of the influx of talent. At this point, it's an unknown.
Due to the sheer volume of questions, we can't answer every one every week. If your question did not get answered, give it a shot again for next Thursday. The Mailbag will run every Thursday on the site.
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