Recruiting's winter dead period began yesterday; it will end on January 13, and Missouri will begin a three-week sprint to National Signing Day. One assumes that Barry Odom will have his staff in place by then (lord, I hope so -- we've been ready to talk about new staff members for quite a damn while now), and it will be interesting to see who Odom and company choose to pursue.
With last week focused mostly on affirming previous commitments and landing a couple of new ones (Trevour Simms, Marvin Terry), I thought this might be a good time to step back and collect ourselves a bit. Or, to put it another way, let's remind ourselves who's actually on Missouri's 2016 commitment list. How many spots are still available? Where might they go?
Before Gary Pinkel's announced retirement, it appears the Mizzou staff was reconsidering its apparent plan to not sign a QB in the 2016 class. Some JUCO options and under-the-radar high schoolers had emerged as potential targets. Mizzou offered dual-thread JUCO Jerod Evans last week, but he committed to Virginia Tech over the weekend (*shakes fist* FUENTEEEEE!!). As far as I can tell, that's the only offer offer that's gone out. We'll see how hard the Tigers pursue another signal caller, but there are a couple of developments to monitor.
First, there's longtime Miami commit and four-star recruit Jack Allison, a December graduate who will be on SOMEONE's campus and enrolling in January. Before Mark Richt was fired by Georgia and hired by Miami, he scored a commitment from blue-chipper Jacob Eason.
Eason is announcing his commitment today. He could stick with Georgia, sign with Florida, or, technically, follow Richt to Miami. If he goes the latter route, Allison could call an audible and decide to sign with someone else at the last minute. He's very familiar with Missouri thanks to previous visits and family/friends attending the school.
Simply because of timing -- he will be signing with someone very soon -- the odds of Allison ending up in Columbia aren't great. And assuming he doesn't come aboard, I'm not sure who will be available when things pick up again in mid-January.
As it pertains to 2017, however, here's an interesting note from the "Who's Coach Odom following on Twitter now?" department:
That's four-star junior Bailey Hockman, of Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern high school, reopening his recruitment ... and quickly scoring a follow.
Here's Hockman's latest film.
But again, Hockman won't have any impact on 2016.
Darius Anderson (5'9, 180, Richmond, TX)
Nate Strong (6'1, 211, East St. Louis, IL via JUCO)
Darius Anderson is Houston Touchdown Club's Offensive Player of the Year! pic.twitter.com/bHRCd1XNfK— George Ranch HS News (@GRHSNews) December 10, 2015
There has been some speculation that Mizzou might struggle to maintain a hold on Anderson, who's racked up awards and attention from other schools this fall. As far as we know, he's still aboard, but that could change. Meanwhile, Odom made a hard push at in-state RB Tre Bryant, but it appears Bryant has reaffirmed his Nebraska commitment.
Christian Holmes (6'1, 182, Atlanta, GA)
Ca'Ron Baham (5'11, 180, Marrero, LA)
Baham's had an eventful fall. He tore his ACL back in September, and while Mizzou continued to honor his commitment, he planned a Colorado visit in November. It's been unclear how much Missouri has been in touch with Baham since Odom took over, but if you're ranking likely decommits, you'd have to put Baham pretty high on the list simply because he was tossing around the idea before Odom was even hired. We'll see.
Meanwhile, Holmes is pretty secure, at least for now.
#Mizzou commit Christian Holmes: "Hearing this is great now I can sit back & see who he keeps on the staff. Just boost my commitment status"— Derek Tyson (@DerekTysonESPN) December 4, 2015
Albert Okwuegbunam (6'5, 215, Springfield, IL)
Okwuegbunam is pretty quiet, but ... he still lists himself as a Mizzou commit on his Twitter profile, so there's that.
Trystan Castillo (6'4, 280, Webb City, MO)
Royce Newman (6'7, 260, Nashville, IL)
Mackenzie Nworah (6'4, 305, Manvel, TX)
Trevour Simms (6'3, 317, East St. Louis, IL)
Nworah visited Indiana this past weekend and is planning January visits as well. Trystan Castillo has visited Minnesota and Iowa State this month. Nebraska is trying to jump in and nab Newman. It's possible that all three remain committed to the Tigers, but Odom and his (still as yet unnamed) OL coach will have some work to do in January.
Tre Williams (6'5, 220, Columbia, MO)
Marvin Terry (6'2, 230, Dallas, TX)
Tyreic Martin (6'2, 265, Valley, AL)
As far as we can tell, Williams is solid, and Terry just committed. Martin hosted Mizzou coaches last week, and he'll be up in January.
I'm guessing all three of these guys sign with the Tigers.
Trey Baldwin (6'3, 223, Houston, TX)
Baldwin visited Columbia this weekend and is still expected to sign in December and enroll in January. He might have my favorite highlight film of any current Mizzou commit.
Then again, considering my favorites last year were Terez Hall and Franklin Agbasimere, I might just have a thing for hard-hitting linebackers. And holy hell, is Baldwin hard-hitting.
DeMarkus Acy (6'1, 172, Dallas, TX)
Jerod Alton (5'10, 178, Kirkwood, MO)
Greg Taylor (5'10, 205, East St. Louis, IL via JUCO)
Ch. Walters. University of Missouri. Keeping the line tight on his Big Catch DeMarkus Acy. Good Work. (GO M.A.D.) pic.twitter.com/zq2shaexxR— Coach Barnett (@coach_barnett) December 10, 2015
My 1st In-Home Visit went great with Mizzou coaches today. pic.twitter.com/VLJ4lyjWAy— DeuceMovement2⃣ (@DeMarkusAcy2) December 6, 2015
We done got One Mizzou— DeuceMovement2⃣ (@DeMarkusAcy2) December 13, 2015
There are always surprises, but I'm guessing these three are safe as well.
Tucker McCann (6'1, 185, O'Fallon, IL)
Another early enrollee, McCann told PowerMizzou his commitment is secure.
Obviously we're still waiting to find out about assistant hires, but it appears the most precarious commitments might be on the offensive line; there's an irony in that considering how well Mizzou did in guarding against decommits in recent years ... except on the offensive line, where a few such decommits clearly hurt the depth and talent levels over the last year or two. Regardless, we should see a pretty entertaining few weeks of news and rumors when the dead period ends.
One assumes Missouri will continue to scrounge around for a quarterback, but beyond that, I'm not completely sure where the remaining three to six scholarships will go. Part of that will be determined by whether players like Anderson, Castillo, Nworah, and Baham remain aboard (if Baham is indeed still aboard at all).