Missouri football lands 28 players on National Signing Day

By Ky Bright

COLUMBIA- National Signing Day has become a sort of holiday for college football recruits and fans around the country.  For recruits, the day may bring a sense of relief, and for fans it may bring excitement for the future. The Missouri football team announced the signing of 28 new players on Wednesday, and the coaching staff is excited about the future.

“It’s really the future of Mizzou and I feel very very good about our class,” football coach Gary Pinkel said.

Based on national recruiting class rankings, Missouri’s signing class is one of the lowest ranked recruiting classes in the Southeastern Conference. Pinkel said he has never looked at the stars of a player or concerned where the class ranks nationally. He has used an evaluation system of his own since he arrived at Missouri.

How Missouri stacks up
This is how other organizations have ranked Missouri’s class of recruits. The first number is the rank nationally, the second is the rank among SEC schools.
Rivals – 35 (12)
Scout – 32 (11)
247sports- 39 (13)
ESPN – 33

“We believe in our evaluation system,” Pinkel said, “We don’t reflect on any stars.”

Instead of looking at player rankings, the Missouri coaching staff looks for certain attributes that can help the team.

“We recruit athletes and we recruit speed potential,” Pinkel said. It’s not just on the field skills either; it’s also the overall character of the guys above all, he said.

This year Missouri put an emphasis on recruiting for the wide receiver position.  They signed six receivers in total. One name that might sound familiar to Missouri fans is Darnell Green, the younger brother of Dorial Green-Beckham. Receiver coach Pat Washington said the comparisons are going to be there, but he thinks that Green can handle them because he has dealt with worse. Green was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia in February 2011 and is in remission now.

Missouri recruiting made an impact in SEC territory. The team signed two players from the state of Georgia and seven from Florida.

“It wasn’t necessarily that we wanted to sign more from Florida or Georgia, less from Texas or any other state. It just kind of worked its way out like that,” Washington said.

Another area of recruiting emphasis was the offensive line. Offensive coordinator Josh Henson said there were a few skills in particular he looked for in this class.

“We look for athleticism in a frame that we can put mass on especially on the edge. I feel like we got some guys that can really fit that bill in Sam Bailey and Paul Adams,” Henson said.

On the inside of the line he looks for more power. In particular, Henson said that signees Kevin Pendleton and Andy Bauer are ideal for those positions.

On the defensive side of the ball, a player that stood out to coaches was Brandon Lee.  Cornerbacks coach Cornell Ford said first his athleticism stood out to him, but Lee’s leadership is something that is needed at the linebacker position.

“He can step out front and is not afraid to take the lead and take the reins and say ‘follow me’,” Ford said.

Each year the staff sets a certain number of players at a certain position that it wants to recruit. Along with the evaluation system, reaching the numbers to fill out the roster is important to Missouri. Pinkel said from that standpoint it was a successful class.

“We got the numbers we want to hit. We hit every number at every single position,” Pinkel said.

It was also a successful day for the SEC. According to Rivals.com, Alabama had the top ranked class with defensive end Da’Shawn Hand, Rivals’ top-rated player. LSU also had a big day with nation’s top running back, Leonard Fournette, and the top recruit in Louisiana. As for Missouri’s SEC East foes, Tennessee landed 31 signees, while Florida rebounded from a sub par season (4-8) with commitments from top recruits Jalen Tabor (defensive back ) and running back Brandon Powell.

Fans can now look forward to spring practices, which begin March 11. The Black and Gold game is on Saturday, April 19, where some of the early enrollees may be in action. The players from the 2014 recruiting class that are not already enrolled are expected on campus June 2.

2014 MIZZOU FOOTBALL RECRUITING CLASS
Click on player name to see player’s highlight video
Name                                              Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School/Prev. School)
Paul Adams OL 6-6 280 Nashville, Tenn. (Christ Presbyterian Academy)
Sam Bailey  OL 6-4 265 Lamar, Mo. (Lamar HS)
Andy Bauer  OL  6-3 300 St. Louis, Mo. (DeSmet HS)
DeSean Blair WR 6-2 185 Jacksonville, Fla. (Sandalwood HS)
Kendall Blanton TE 6-6 230 Blue Springs, Mo. (Blue Springs South HS)
Walter Brady DE  6-3 255 Florence, Ala. (Florence HS)
Nate Brown WR  6-3 205 Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett HS)
Logan Cheadle DB 5-9 175 Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Lee’s Summit West HS) *
Kenya Dennis DB 6-0 200 Raymond, Miss. (Hinds CC) *
Keyon Dilosa WR  6-3 190 Round Rock, Texas (Round Rock HS)
Michael Fairchild  OL 6-4 275 Overland Park, Kansas (Blue Valley West HS) *
Darnell Green WR 6-5 180 Springfield, Mo. (Hillcrest HS)
Grant Jones ATH 6-3 225 Columbia, Mo. (Hickman HS)
Brandon Lee  LB  6-2 215 Indianapolis, Ind. (Lawrence Central HS) *
Lawrence Lee WR 5-11 175 Pensacola, Fla. (West Florida Tech)
Rocel McWilliams DL  6-3 245 Pensacola, Fla. (West Florida Tech)
Kevin Pendleton  OL 6-3 320 Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Lee’s Summit West HS)
Thomas Richard WR 6-0 190 Nashville, Tenn. (Christ Presbyterian Academy)
Tavon Ross DB 6-0 200 Cochran, Ga. (Bleckley County HS)
Finis Stribling DB 5-11 180 Thompson’s Station, Tenn. (Independence HS)
Greg Taylor DB  5-11 185 East St. Louis, Ill. (East St. Louis HS)
Trevon Walters TB 5-10 195 Bradenton, Fla. (Manatee HS)
Spencer Williams DL  6-4 230  Jacksonville, Fla. (First Coast HS)
Thomas Wilson ATH 5-11 185 Buford, Ga. (Buford HS)
Raymond Wingo DB 6-0 175 St. Louis, Mo. (St. Louis University HS)
Rodrick Winters  LB 5-11 195  Arlington, Texas (Bowie HS)
Ish Witter TB 5-8 195 Tampa, Fla. (Alonso HS)
Marvin Zanders QB 6-2 185 Jacksonville, Fla. (Raines HS) *
* Currently enrolled at Missouri
BREAKDOWN BY STATE
Missouri (10):  Bailey (Lamar), Bauer (St. Louis), Blanton (Blue Springs), Cheadle (Lee’s Summit), Fairchild (Overland Park), Green-Beckham (Springfield), Jones (Columbia), Pendleton (Lee’s Summit), Taylor (East St. Louis), Wingo (St. Louis)
Florida (7): Blair (Jacksonville), Lawrence Lee (Pensacola), McWilliams (Pensacola), Walters (Bradenton), Williams (Jacksonville), Witter (Tampa), Zanders (Jacksonville)
Georgia (3): Brown (Suwanee), Ross (Cochran), Wilson (Buford)
Tennessee (3): Adams (Nashville), Richard (Nashville), Stribling (Thompson’s Station)
Texas (2): Dilosa (Round Rock), Winters (Arlington)
Alabama (1): Brady (Florence)
Indiana (1): Lee (Indianapolis)
Mississippi (1): Dennis (Raymond)
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One response to “Missouri football lands 28 players on National Signing Day

  1. Pingback: http://kbiasports.org/2014/02/06/missouri-football-lands-28-players-on-national-signing-day/ | brigtlights

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