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2012 Missouri Football Recruiting: Sealing The Borders (Part One)

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It's been told to every Mizzou coach since Don Faurot: seal the Missouri borders, win games. Missouri is the only major program in a state with two metropolitan areas, and if they were to grab all of the recruits from across the state, they would be fantastic. Tom Osborne famously called Mizzou "a sleeping giant" because of the talent within its own borders.

As Mizzou continues to fight away at two major in-state recruiting battles -- four-star Lee's Summit lineman Evan Boehm and, of course, Springfield's Dorial Green-Beckham, the No. 1 recruit in the country -- now is a good time to take a look at both how Missouri is faring in-state ... and how much it actually matters.

Today, we're going to walk through history; tomorrow, we'll look at trends and the 2012 class.

Using the database, let's first take a look at which Missourians Mizzou has offered in Gary Pinkel's tenure, and how many they've landed. This, of course, comes with an obvious disclaimer: Rivals is wonderful, but it probably isn't 100% accurate in terms of who has or hasn't been offered. Still, it will give us a pretty good glimpse of the situation at hand. (Key recruits in bold.)


RB Mario Whitney (****, Jackson)
RB Corey Taylor (***, University City)
TE Zach Zwilling (****, Ft. Zumwalt South)
OL Joel Clinger (***, Warrenton)
LB Dedrick Harrington (****, Mexico)

LB Emmett Morris (***, Parkway South)

QB Joe Ferguson (***, Pembroke Hill, Northwestern)
RB David Richard (****, Hazelwood East, Michigan State)
WR Desmond Sims (***, New Madrid Central, Arkansas)
DB Darnell Ray (***, Hazelwood East, Illinois)

Offered: 10
Landed: 6 (60.0%)

In Gary Pinkel's first full year of Mizzou recruiting, he landed three of four four-star prospects; the fourth (David Richard) ended up transferring to Mizzou as well. New coaches tend to see a bit of a recruiting grace period, and this was Pinkel's. Of the prospects Mizzou missed, none made much of an impact. Of course, neither did most of the players Mizzou landed; Joel Clinger was a starter on the line, Dedrick Harrington was a solid linebacker, Taylor and Zwilling never made it to campus, and Mario Whitney was a quick bust.


TE Martin Rucker (***, St. Joe Benton)
OL Tyler Luellen (****, South Harrison)
OL Adam Spieker (***, Webb City)

OL Marty Raab (***, Eureka)
OL M.J. Norman (***, Eureka)
DT Phinney Troy (**, SLUH)
DB Darnell Terrell (****, Eureka)
DB Lareno Seymour (**, Hazelwood East)

RB Laurence Maroney (****, Normandy, Minnesota)

RB Anton Campbelll (***, Ft. Zumwalt West, Michigan)
TE Will Paul (****, Parkway West, Michigan)
DE Aaron Whittington (***, Hazelwood East, UCLA)
DE Jamal Cooper (***, Hazelwood East, Wisconsin)
LB Shaun Richardson (***, Cleveland NJROTC, Purdue)

Offered: 14
Landed: 8 (57.1%)

This class had fewer four-star recruits and more difference-makers. It was a big deal that Mizzou pulled Martin Rucker away from his brother's alma mater, Nebraska, and Mizzou landed two future line stalwarts in Luellen and Spieker. Meanwhile, Laurence Maroney named Mizzou his leader well into January, but was strangely scared away after his official visit to Missouri. (The long-standing rumor was that Damien Nash told him Mizzou was his team, and Maroney would need to go elsewhere to see any carries.) He ended up with Glen Mason at Minnesota.

So Mizzou's overall success rate went down, but they landed three of four true difference-makers in the class.


QB Chase Patton (****, Rock Bridge)
QB Darrell Jackson (***, Webster Groves)
RB Tony Temple (****, Rockhurst)
RB Jimmy Jackson (**, Caruthersville)
WR Jerrill Humphrey (****, Highland)
WR Will Franklin (***, Vashon)
TE Brian Barmann (**, West Platte)
OL Kyle Riggs (****, Festus)
OL Ryan Madison (**, South Harrison)
LB Van Alexander (****, Rock Bridge)
LB Arthur Miller (***, Kirkwood)
LB Aaron O'Neal (**, Parkway North)
DB William Moore (***, Hayti)
DB Steve Redmond (**, Rockhurst)

OL Brett Gallimore (****, Park Hill South, Michigan)
ATH Nick Patterson (***, Hazelwood Central, Ohio State)

Offered: 16
Landed: 14 (87.5%)

Following their first bowl bid under Pinkel, Mizzou cleaned up in state. The 2004 class was by far their most successful in terms of sealing the borders; only two players got away, and if I remember correctly, Gallimore had Michigan ties before moving to Missouri. Regardless, there were three true difference-makers in this class (only one of which was a four-star signee), and they all ended up in black and gold.


TE Chase Coffman (***, Raymore-Peculiar)

OL James Stigall (***, Blue Springs)
OL Kurtis Gregory (***, Santa Fe)
DE Tarell Corby (***, N. Kansas City)
DT Jaron Baston (***, Blue Springs)
DT Jason Townson (**, Hazelwood East)
LB Brock Christopher (***, Kearney)
DB Hardy Ricks (***, Brentwood)

RB A.J. Jimmerson (***, Hazelwood Central, Michigan State)
WR D.J. Hord (****, Rockhurst, Notre Dame)
WR Chris Brooks (****, Hazelwood East, Nebraska)
DE Allan Smith (***, Rockhurst, Boston College)
LB Steve Davis (***, Mccluer North, Minnesota)
DB Justin Thornton (***, St. Joe Central, Kansas)

Offered: 14
Landed: 8 (57.1%)

This class was seen as a failure as a whole because both four-star recruits (D.J. Hord and Chris Brooks) went elsewhere. But Hord's career was destroyed by injuries, and Brooks never did much in Lincoln. (Plus, it's quite conceivable that if Brooks landed at Mizzou, they wouldn't have pursued Danario Alexander the next year.) As a whole, Mizzou missed out on six players, but only Steve Davis and Justin Thornton ended up becoming interesting players (and neither were just amazing). And Mizzou scored four multi-year starters in Coffman, Gregory, Baston and Christopher.


WR Jeremy Maclin (****, Kirkwood)
OL Tim Barnes (***, Pettis County Northwest)

DE John Stull (***, Rock Bridge)
DT Bart Coslet (***, Francis Howell Central)
DB Aaron Cawlfield (***, Hickman)

QB Josh Freeman (****, Grandview, Kansas State)

RB Munir Prince (***, DeSmet, Notre Dame)
TE Paddy Mullen (***, DeSmet, Notre Dame)
TE Mike McNeill (***, Kirkwood, Nebraska)
OL Zach Kendall (***, Harrisonville, Kansas State)
OL Keith Williams (***, Mccluer North, Nebraska)
DE Adrian Clayborn (****, Webster Groves, Iowa)
DE Robert McField (***, Normandy, Minnesota)
DE Jerry Brown (***, Vashon, Illinois)
LB Quentin Davie (***, Cardinal Ritter, Northwestern)
DB Phil Strozier (***, Rockhurst, Kansas)
DB Antonio Gully (**, Cardinal Ritter, Illinois)

Offered: 17
Landed: 5 (29.4%)

The impact of the disappointing 2004 season and Aaron O'Neal's death (which negatively impacted Mizzou's standing in St. Louis, no matter how unfair that may have been) were not completely felt until the 2006 class. Mizzou experienced their single least successful recruiting year here, though as is usually the case, the losses were marginalized by the fact that most of the recruits they lost didn't make much noise.

Mizzou's struggles in St. Louis were most exemplified by the recruitment of Adrian Clayborn. Clayborn made repeated unofficial visits to Missouri throughout 2004 and into the spring of 2005, always wearing Mizzou gear in the process. But as his recruitment wore on, he supposedly acknowledged that he was feeling pressure from folks in the St. Louis area to look beyond Mizzou. (I read this many times in the fall of 2005 but haven't been able to dig up any articles that confirm this, so it could always have just been a case of Internet rumors.) Mizzou expected a commitment from him that never came, and he ended up spending a wonderfully productive college career in Iowa City. Along with Maroney, it was probably the single biggest miss of the Pinkel era.

Still ... missing on most in-state targets did absolutely nothing to hurt the progress of the Missouri program overall. Riding a higher and higher percentage of Texas athletes, Mizzou experienced nearly unprecedented success from 2007 to 2010, the years in which this class was eligible to make the largest impact. Maclin and Barnes certainly played key roles, but the in-state depth they missed in this class was happily supplemented elsewhere.


RB Derrick Washington (****, Raymore-Peculiar)

RB De'Vion Moore (***, Hazelwood Central)
WR Rolandis Woodland (***, Rockwood Summit)
OL Jayson Palmgren (***, N. Kansas City)
DE Michael Keck (****, Harrisonville)
DE Chris Earnhardt (***, Springfield Hillcrest)
DT Terrell Resonno (***, Jefferson City)
LB Luke Lambert (***, Brookfield)
DB Carl Gettis (***, Ft. Zumwalt West)

QB Logan Gray (****, Rock Bridge, Georgia)
WR Marvin McNutt (***, Hazelwood Central, Iowa)
TE Aron White (****, Rock Bridge, Georgia)
OL Donald Stephenson (***, Blue Springs, Oklahoma)
OL Niko Mafuli (***, SLUH, Northwestern)
DT Demetrious Davis (***, St. Joe Benton, Nebraska)
ATH Lamark Brown (****, Hazelwood West, Kansas State)

Offered: 16
Landed: 9 (56.3%)

Mizzou whiffed on three of five four-star recruits in this class, but ... once again, they did not suffer much for it. Logan Gray became a marginal receiver at both Georgia and Colorado, Aron White made a very sporadic impact at Georgia, and Lamark Brown did next to nothing in Manhattan. The major miss in this class -- McNutt -- was actually a quarterback prospect. Upon the emergence of Ricky Stanzi at Iowa, McNutt moved to receiver and became the best receiver in Iowa history. Obviously MIzzou could have used him over the last couple of seasons.


QB Blaine Gabbert (*****, Parkway West)

RB Drew Temple (***, Rockhurst)
WR Wes Kemp (***, DeSmet)
TE Andrew Jones (****, Smithville)
OL Travis Ruth (***, Jefferson City)
DE Aldon Smith (***, Raytown)
DE Brad Madison (***, South Harrison)
WR Robert Steeples (***, DeSmet)

TE Spencer Ladner (****, Pembroke Hill, California)
LB Will Compton (****, North County, Nebraska)
DB DeMarco Paine (***, Hazelwood East, Iowa)

Offered: 11
Landed: 8 (72.7%)

Will Compton is finally beginning to make an impact at Nebraska, but once again Missouri's misses were marginalized by solid Texas recruiting. Overall, Mizzou landed a strong majority of the players they offered in this class, which is what one would have expected following the strong 2007 season. This may not have come about, however, if not for Nebraska's downfall. Gabbert was originally a Nebraska commit, and once he flipped to Missouri, he brought one-time Wisconsin commit Wes Kemp over with him. Mizzou would have landed Aldon Smith and Brad Madison no matter what, but they needed extenuating circumstances to pull in Gabbert and Kemp.


QB Blaine Dalton (***, Blue Springs South)
WR T.J. Moe (***, Ft. Zumwalt West)
WR Kerwin Stricker (***, Washington)
TE Alex Sanders (***, Springfield Glendale)
OL Jack Meiners (***, Chaminade)
OL Justin Britt (***, Lebanon)
OL Mark Hill (***, Branson)
DT Sheldon Richardson (*****, Gateway High)
LB Andrew Wilson (***, Raymore-Peculiar)

LB Adam Burton (***, Lee's Summit West)

QB Nathan Scheelhaase (****, Rockhurst, Illinois)
RB Ronnie Wingo, Jr. (****, SLUH, Arkansas)
RB Montee Ball (****, Timberland, Wisconsin)
OL Tyler Evans (***, Strafford)
ATH Bryant Allen (***, Maplewood, Minnesota)

Offered: 15
Landed: 10 (66.7%)

Recruiting is funny. Mizzou fans were angry about losing Ronnie Wingo, Jr., to Arkansas, but in losing Montee Ball to Wisconsin, most Mizzou fans' reactions were the same: "Eh, that makes sense." Wingo would not have received a monstrous amount of carries at Mizzou (he would have certainly been bypassed by Henry Josey in 2011, at least, and he really hasn't shown that he would have out-produced Kendial Lawrence, Josey and De'Vion Moore in 2010); meanwhile, Ball was a 2011 Heisman finalist at Wisconsin. You cannot blame the power runner for choosing a power-running offense, I guess.


QB Tyler Gabbert (****, Parkway West)
WR Marcus Lucas (****, Liberty)
OL Nick Demien (****, Timberland)
OL Anthony Gatti (***, Parkway North)
DE Kony Ealy (****, New Madrid Central)
DB E.J. Gaines (***, Ft. Osage)

RB Brandon Bourbon (****, Potosi, Kansas)
FB Trey Millard (****, Rock Bridge, Oklahoma)
DT Chase Rome (****, Rock Bridge, Nebraska)
DB Keeston Terry (****, Blue Springs, Kansas)
DB Dexter McDonald (***, Rockhurst, Kansas)
ATH Marquise Hill (***, Trinity Catholic, Minnesota)

Offered: 12
Landed: 6 (50.0%)

As Mizzou took a step backwards on the field in 2009, they did in recruiting, too. After landing 18 of 26 in-state kids in 2008-09 (69%), they fell back to half-and-half in 2010. They did reel in four of seven four-star kids, though two (Tyler Gabbert and Nick Demien) have not made an impact, and a third (Kony Ealy) is only beginning to. Chase Rome has shown some potential at Nebraska, but the only high-impact miss was another "Eh, can't blame him" situation -- Trey Millard is thriving as a fullback at Oklahoma, in a position Mizzou doesn't actually utilize.


QB Corbin Berkstresser (***, Lee's Summit)
WR Brandon Hannah (***, Chaminade)
WR Wesley Leftwich (***, Hickman)

RB Kody Walker (***, Jefferson City, Arkansas)
TE Dan Tapko (***, Rockhurst, Oklahoma)

Offered: 5
Landed: 3 (60.0%)

The 2011 recruiting season was an interesting one. Mizzou had very few scholarships to offer in this class; meanwhile, the state of Missouri produced fewer interesting prospects than at any point in the last decade. Not a single Missouri kid received even a four-star Rivals rating, and as a result, Mizzou only offered a meager five players. They landed three. None have made any sort of impact just yet, though Mizzou has high hopes for both Berkstresser and Leftwich. (Hannah didn't qualify, and Tapko quickly quit football.)

We'll get more into this tomorrow with some graphs (of course), but you don't need graphs to quickly begin to notice that most of the players Mizzou has lost haven't hurt them much. In fact, a high in-state success rate has had almost no overall impact on wins and losses. (That's not to say Mizzou fans shouldn't care if Evan Boehm or Dorial Green-Beckham go elsewhere, of course.) Anyway, more tomorrow.