Stretch Run: Five recruiting stories
National Signing Day 2017 is just five weeks away. We take a look at five storylines to watch in the stretch run before Barry Odom signs his first full class at Mizzou.
1. EAST ST. LOUIS: IN OR OUT?
East St. Louis quarterback Reyondous Estes has been committed to Missouri for quite some time. But he has not yet taken an official visit to Columbia. So far as we know, he hasn't taken any others either. Illinois is considered a major threat here. Nobody is quite sure exactly what to make of the situation with Jeff Thomas. Those around Thomas continue to say Missouri is in the mix and there is talk he (and Estes) will take a January official visit, but the four-star receiver has repeatedly said the Tigers are not in his top three. The latest information to come out is that Louisville, Illinois and Oregon will get visits. Will either, neither or both make it to Columbia for an official visit and/or sign with the Tigers? We wait.
2. TRACKING PREVIOUS VISITORS
Missouri had a fantastic December. The Tigers picked up seven commitments, all from players who took official visits last month. Zion Debose, Caleb Sampson and Jordan Ulmer took December officials to Mizzou, but are not currently committed anywhere. Ulmer (Iowa State) and Sampson (Tulane) have both rescinded verbal commitments to other schools, but none of those three have pulled the trigger on a new pledge.
3. WILL THERE BE ANOTHER QUARTERBACK?
We mentioned Estes' situation above. Will the Tigers add another quarterback to the class, either to protect against Estes switching or to add depth, particularly in light of Marvin Zanders' impending transfer? Alabama commitment Mac Jones has talked about the possibility of taking a visit to Columbia, but nothing has been set up at this point. If not Jones, do the Tigers have some other targets on the line? This is definitely a situation to watch in the next five weeks.
4. COULD THERE BE SOME IN-STATE SWITCHES?
Thus far, the Tigers have just two in-state commitments (DaRon Davis and Jafar Armstrong, who plays his high school ball in Kansas, but lives in Missouri). The high school coach for Tony Adams has said the Tigers are still pursuing the Illinois commitment and in-state offensive linemen Larry Boyd and Marquise Hayes are players Mizzou fans have hoped to get back in on for months. What headway can Missouri make on convincing any or all of them to stay home to play college ball?
5. HOW HEAVY ON THE DEFENSIVE LINE?
The Tigers picked up December commitments from junior college defensive linemen Rashad Brandon and Nate Anderson. Defensive end Chris Turner seems to have solidified his commitment. But the Tigers aren't done up front. Walter Palmore and Malik Young are junior college targets on the defensive line. Sampson and Debose visited in December and Jaylen Twyman is set to take an official on January 20th. Just how many defensive linemen will the Tigers take? If they could land all four listed here, that would be seven...which is not at all out of the question.