Weekend Recap: 1/23-1/26
Early each week leading up until National Signing Day, PowerMizzou.com will take a look back at the previous weekend in Missouri recruiting.
Today is our second installment of the Weekend Recap for the Class of 2015.
SIGH OF RELIEF: All of the recruiting news from Missouri's first big visit weekend of January was overshadowed late Sunday night. A report from FootballScoop.com linked Missouri defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski to become the co-defensive coordinator, and defensive line coach, at Illinois.
At that time, FootballScoop.com said Kuligowski was expected to accept the position.
A little over 12 hours later, however, Kuligowski released a statement through Missouri's athletic department, announcing he would remove himself from consideration for that job and would remain at Missouri.
Needless to say, Missouri dodged a bullet. Losing a coach like Kuligowski -- whose success developing defensive linemen is now getting national attention -- a little over a week before National Signing Day would have been devastating to Missouri's late recruiting efforts. A source told PowerMizzou.com that the staff was worried about keeping its current defensive line commitments should Kuligowski have left, and it would have been a major blow to their efforts to land four-star defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr., as well.
But, Kuligowski remains on the staff for another year, at least, and Missouri's positive momentum in the build-up to Feb. 4 continues.
THREE MORE COMMITMENTS ADDED: Missouri hosted nine official visitors over the weekend, and got three commitments. The first pledge came on Thursday night, when Butler (Kan.) C.C. offensive tackle Tyler Howell committed to Missouri and cancelled a scheduled visit to Kansas. Howell visited Missouri in December, and with spots filling up, Howell decided to commit when members of Missouri's staff made an in-home visit to him.
On Saturday, Missouri picked up two more commitments, this time from official visitors. Dallas (TX) wide receiver Brandon Martin, an Under Armour All-American, committed first, although he hasn't been decisive about whether he'll cancel upcoming trips. Shortly thereafter, Metairie (La.) defensive lineman Tyrell Jacobs -- once an Oklahoma commitment -- verballed to Missouri. He told PowerMizzou.com that he's canceling a visit next weekend to Illinois, and is solid to the Tigers.
Among the other uncommitted (or looking around) recruits Missouri hosted, Wisconsin commit Nate Howard said he will announce a final decision on Tuesday. Former Alabama commitment T.D. Moton did not have have a commitable offer after Jacobs pulled the trigger. He committed to Mississippi State on Monday.
In addition, Missouri hosted Lithonia (Ga.) linebacker Terez Hall, who arrived on Saturday and left Monday afternoon. Hall has not spoken to the media, but he remains Missouri's top target at linebacker. The Tigers' also hosted Louisville commitment defensive end G.G. Robinson, but his trip began on Monday.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE 2015 CLASS: Not many spots left, for one. Howell likely ended Missouri's offensive line recruiting for the 2015 class, giving them a pair of junior college tackles to headline the group.
Missouri will certainly hold a spot for Beckner, but Jacobs' commitment presents a numbers crunch at defensive line. Going into next week, Missouri will have two more uncommitted defensive tackles visiting -- Beckner and Daquan Hawkins -- and they're waiting to see what Robinson and Howard decide. Beyond Beckner and Howard -- an in-state guy they'll likely take at any time -- it's unclear how much room Missouri has on the defensive line.
At linebacker, Hall is the top target, and four-star Quarte Sapp is also visiting next weekend. It may be first-come, first-served among that duo.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE 2015 SEASON: Martin certainly has the talent to compete for a spot in the 2015 receivers rotation; however, his qualification status is still up in the air.
Jacobs adds more depth to a defensive line that will be largely rebuilt next season, but he'll play defensive tackle. At 260-pounds, he'll have to add weight to factor into playing time as a freshman.
After being concerned with options at both tackle positions for 2015, Howell's commitment adds another talented, big linemen to the battle, and he could conceivably factor in at right or left tackle.