A longtime Missouri lean, Lock boasted offers from Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. At the Summit Grill & Bar this evening, however, he indeed ended his recruitment by choosing the nearby Tigers.
Here's Lock's junior highlight film:
The ball just jumps out of his hand. I'm not sure we'll ever again see a Mizzou quarterback with Blaine Gabbert's arm strength, but this guy comes close. When he steps into his passes, he plants them into tiny windows, and in a couple of the highlights above, his passes almost surprise the defenders.
(The play that starts at the 1:01 mark is my favorite. On a two-man route, the defender sees Lock passing and jumps on the shorter route, assuming that's where the ball has to be going ... and the ball sails right past that receiver on a zipline to the other man streaking down the sideline.)
Lock's mobility is solid (one would expect no less from a good basketball player), and his deep ball is pretty. One has to figure it might take him a little bit to figure out what he can and cannot get away with at the college level -- college defenders will step in front of some of the passes you see on this film -- but that goes for any strong-armed QB who dominates at the high school level. And dominate he has; Lock completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,062 yards, 35 touchdowns, and seven picks last year for Lee's Summit High.
That Lock chose Mizzou isn't a surprise, but it is still rather significant. For one thing, it closes Missouri's recruitment of the quarterback position. The Tigers were likely to take only one quarterback in this class, and with more than nine months remaining until Signing Day, they have him. Beyond that, though, his choice to commit this early furthers the sense of momentum that Mizzou has fostered, both on the field and in the recruiting game. Lock is the third four-star prospect to commit to Missouri in the last week; the Tigers landed just three combined in the last two recruiting classes.
Recruiting builds upon itself sometimes; case in point: Ole Miss' 2013 recruiting class, in which the long-rumored commitment of top prospect Denzel Nkemdiche helped to increase program exposure and build momentum toward what became the No. 7 recruiting class in the country. Missouri isn't going to sign a top-10 class this year, but this can only help the Tigers' standing when it comes to the recruitment of other four-star athletes like Rock Bridge receiver A.J. Ofodile, Helias tight end Hale Hentges, Kansas City Winnetonka athlete Marquise Doherty, East St. Louis end Terry Beckner, Jr., Mississippi linebacker Leo Lewis, Texas cornerback Kris Boyd, and others supposedly giving Missouri strong consideration.
In terms of star ratings, this is one of the best weeks of recruiting Missouri has ever had. In December 2009, the Tigers landed four-star quarterback Tyler Gabbert, four-star receiver Marcus Lucas, and four high-three-stars (Marcus Murphy, Kenronte Walker, Daniel Easterly, Bud Sasser, Matt Hoch) in an eight-day span. In October 2006, two four-stars (JUCO DT Andy Maples and running back Derrick Washington) committed within two days. And in December 2003, four-star in-staters Jerrill Humphrey and Chase Patton committed seven days apart. But Mizzou had never on record landed three four-stars in this short an amount of time.
Of course, the above names tell you that the big names in recruiting aren't always the big names on the field. Tyler Gabbert lost the starting job and transferred. Andy Maples barely saw the field. Chase Patton was the Best Backup Ever but never starter. Jerrill Humphrey disappeared after a year or so. Star ratings are not guarantees, but they come loaded with solid odds.
Missouri has made a name for itself by turning top-30 and top-40 classes into top-20 and top-30 results. But the 2015 class is on its way toward the top 20.