In-State gates open for Mizzou
While Missouri has been loading up on prospects from Alabama and Texas, many have waited for the in-state bubble to pop for the Tigers. That happened Thursday morning when Blue Springs lineman Daniel Parker Jr. committed to Missouri.
"I love the coaching staff," Parker told PowerMizzou.com. "If I need anything from them, I know they got me."
Parker is rated as a four-star defensive end by Rivals.com and the No. 7 player in the state of Missouri. That's the position he'll start at in Columbia. But he has the versatility to also be a defensive tackle or an offensive lineman down the road.
Parker originally committed to Missouri after Night at the Zou last summer. But he opened things back up shortly after. He recently released a top six which included Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky and UCF in addition to the Tigers.
"I always had the thought in the back of my mind," Parker said. "They never gave up on me!"
Parker is Missouri's first in-state commitment, but its 14th overall and its ninth in the last seven days. The Tigers have risen 35 spots in the team rankings and should crack the top 40 with Parker's pledge. His role now turns to being a recruiter for the Tigers, especially with other prospects in the state:
"Trust me when I say 'Be on the lookout!'" he said.
Scouting Report from Rivals.com Midwest Analyst Josh Helmholdt: "I remember not too long ago when the discussion was about which side of the ball Parker best projected to. That discussion seems to be over after he spent the whole off-season working out at defensive line, but I think it could be revived depending on his future physical growth. That growth means everything right now with Parker. At the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in June he struggled going head-to-head against the nation's top offensive linemen, but what was also evident there is there is a lot of physical growth ahead. He has huge size 15 shoes and big paws for hands, he just seems to need time to grow into his frame. When that happens, the four-star potential should emerge."
PowerMizzou.com will have more on Parker's commitment shortly.