— Rock M Nation (@rockmnation) April 17, 2014
Daniel Imatorbhebhe -- according to his brother, Josh, it's pronounced EEM-a-tor-bay-bay. Josh is a 2016 recruit with a Mizzou offer.— Pete Scantlebury (@PeteScantlebury) April 17, 2014
Daniel Imatorbhebhe, a three-star tight end (via Rivals; he has not yet received a rating from ESPN or 247Sports) from Suwanee's North Gwinnett high school, announced his Mizzou commitment last night. Mizzou had been a leader for his services since he and his brother made a visit to Columbia a few weeks ago. He made a recent visit to Gainesville -- the result: an unfortunate "After visit, Florida still leads for tight end" headline at Inside the Gators -- but evidently decided his heart was still in Columbia.
He is the sixth known commitment for the 2015 class; depending on where Chase Abbington ends up (whether he remains at running back or moves to defensive back), the commit list currently contains either five or six offensive players.
As with Drew Lock, Imatorbhebhe's commitment is lovely for both prospect and symbolism. He long held a Mizzou offer, and he was evidently told on his visit that he and Helias prospect Hale Hentges were Mizzou's top two choices at the position (and that the Tigers want to take two TEs); there's a chance, then, that he's pretty good. That's backed up by his highlight film:
North Gwinnett targeted Imatorbhebhe mostly either with over-the-middle routes and post-ups in the red zone. At 6'4, 220 pounds with long legs and what seems like pretty good body control, he was successful in this regard. His agility isn't exactly off the charts, which is why he projects as a tight end instead of a wide receiver, but one can see both his strengths and how his strengths would apply to the Mizzou offense. (You have to like that they included him pancake-blocking five-star end Lorenzo Carter at the 3:40 mark.)
Beyond Imatorbhebhe's talent, though, he furthers the pipeline effect Mizzou is establishing at North Gwinnett; Mizzou landed four-star receiver Nate Brown from there last year and almost landed four-star defensive end Dante Sawyer as well. Plus, NGHS cornerback Bobby Young is evidently attending Mizzou as a preferred walk-on this fall, and Missouri is listed as one of the leaders for both linebacker Anree Saint-Amour and receiver Almonzo Brown, both of whom have received Tiger offers. This school produces quite a bit of FBS-level talent, and Mizzou is doing quite well there.
It also looks like Daniel's brother Josh, a receiver, will be highly sought after in the 2016 recruiting class. He received an offer during the brothers' trip to Columbia, and I would say that landing Daniel certainly doesn't hurt when going after Josh.
[DGB] was dismissed from the team on Friday. When Daniel Imatorbhebhe heard Missouri coach Gary Pinkel talk about that decision, he said the wheels started churning for an immediate decision.
"I saw an interview where reporters asked him, 'How do you balance the right thing to do with what hurts the team?'," Imatorbhebhe said. "Coach Pinkel looked at them and said, 'We don't do that here. We do what's right first and foremost.'" [...]
"I thought about it and realized you can't find better people than there are at Missouri," Imatorbhebhe said. "You can't find the combination of real people and great football, plus the academic support and everything. When I really thought about it, it was an easy decision."
Four words come to mind with the news of Missouri's latest football commitment.
Good luck, Mike Kelly.
(And has the statute of limitations run out on my go-to "I believe it's pronounced 'Ek-were-ek-wu'" joke?