It was a "good news, bad news" Saturday for Missouri recruiting. Midday, Gary Pinkel and his staff scored a commitment from Shaun Rupert, a three-star defensive back from Montgomery (AL) Carver. He is a rangy 6'2, 180 pounds with solid speed; PowerMizzou's Pete Scantlebury had very good things to say about his film recently, mentioning that he is a natural safety but could develop into a "big corner" type of role if asked. He is the second known commitment in the defensive backfield, joining St. Louis' Aarion Penton. (It should be noted that Mizzou also has commitment from three "athletes," any of whom could end up as DBs: Chase Abbington, Donovahn Jones and Anthony Sherrils. Rupert was an Arkansas State commit but acted on a late offer from Mizzou, visited, and committed.
Meanwhile, Mizzou saw the exact same situation in reverse. Dimarya Mixon, a defensive lineman from Texas who had committed to Mizzou a while back, received a late offer from Nebraska, visited this weekend, and officially decommitted from Missouri. Mixon's potential as either a big defensive end (he's currently 6'3, 265) or defensive tackle was exciting, but this is how recruiting goes sometimes. Mizzou had already used its in-home visit on Mixon and thought he was a safe bet until Nebraska jumped in at the last minute.
Of course, the problem for Missouri isn't that kids decommit. That happens everywhere, at all times of the recruiting year. The problem is that the vast majority of Mizzou's decommits in the past two years have come in the trenches. Mizzou's 2013 class is still loaded with bigs -- Clay Rhodes, Harneet Gill and Alec Ablen on the offensive line, Marcus Loud, Nate Crawford, Josh Augusta, Antar Thompson (likely headed to JUCO) and A.J. Logan on the defensive line -- but the attrition in this regard certainly isn't a good thing. We could try to figure out a reason, but it's possible one doesn't actually exist. Considering Sheldon Richardson is about to become the third Tiger lineman (and sixth Tiger overall) to get picked in the first round of the NFL draft in the last five years, it certainly isn't a talent development issue. Regardless, a good day (thanks to Rupert) turned into a neutral day thanks to Mixon.