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Missouri football recruiting: The latest news 2 days from Signing Day

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Missouri stands at 23 commitments heading into National Signing Day.

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With National Signing Day fast approaching (under 48 hours to go!), let's take a look at the latest headlines from the weekend and what to expect for Mizzou on Wednesday.

Nate Howard and Josh Moore commit

Howard
PowerMizzou: Howard flips to Mizzou
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Ladue DE Nate Howard flips commitment to MU
Post-Dispatch: Ladue's Howard will sign with Mizzou

Moore
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): TE/DE Josh Moore is MU's 23rd commit for 2015
Post-Dispatch: Kansas recruit flips pledge to Mizzou

A recruiting class takes shape organically. Mizzou has become increasingly more well-known for its defensive line prowess, but until recently the Tigers didn't actually have any defensive line commitments in this class. JUCO defensive end Marcell Frazier announced his pledge on December 18, but it wasn't until last week that a high school lineman joined the list.

But then former Oklahoma commit and tackle-to-be Tyrell Jacobs committed last week, and apparently the defensive end position added two names this weekend. First, Ladue's Nate Howard officially flipped his pledge from Wisconsin to Missouri on local television Friday night. Then, Olathe North's Josh Moore -- presumed to be a tight end recruit -- not only committed but announced he was moving to the other side of the ball.

Granted, at some point Mizzou will need to sign a couple of tight ends again, but that position is still rather young for 2015, with junior-to-be Sean Culkin, sophomore Jason Reese, redshirt freshman Kendall Blanton, and senior walk-on Clayton Echard filling in the depth chart next fall. Perhaps with that in mind, not to mention Moore's impressive athleticism (and the fact that he's listed at 6'5, 250, but still looks pretty skinny), Mizzou and Moore evidently decided that his future was on defense. One assumes that means defensive end, though I guess if he can hold 280+ pounds, that could change.

Of course, the big thing with Moore is when he'll show up in Columbia. He's long been thought of as a qualification risk, which was likely part of the reason Ohio State allegedly backed off in the fall. He hasn't already enrolled in JUCO classes like running back commit Nate Strong, and his high school hasn't lost its charter (as was the case with receiver commit Brandon Martin), and it doesn't appear like all hope is lost for him qualifying. Still, there's a chance he becomes a sign-and-place guy who shows up at Mizzou as a redshirt sophomore in 2017.

Howard, meanwhile, is a pretty rare commodity: a Ladue Tiger.

That would be mid-1990s Mizzou safety Terrence Binion.

Mizzou made it clear to Howard that he was their main priority at the end position, and with the #DLineZou meme, that carries some weight.

Terez Hall ... almost commits? Sort of commits?

So this was bound to happen at some point.

That's Mizzou's director of recruiting Nick Otterbacher doing what coaches do these days: announce commitments without announcing commitments. You can't say a recruit's name before he signs -- and you definitely can't say it three times in front of a mirror -- but coaches across the country have figured out silly, fun little ways to skirt the rules. When Mizzou gets a commitment, first Otterbacher does his "Welcome to the #MizFam [INSERT TOWN HERE] About to be #MizzouMade" thing, then Gary Pinkel jumps in with a "#MizzouMade: [INSERT TOWN HERE]! GP"

Otterbacher shouting out Lithonia made everyone assume that top linebacker prospect Terez Hall had just committed. And maybe he had. But...

...whoops. Either a) Hall committed but didn't want his commitment made public until he could announce it on Signing Day, or b) Mizzou got a commitment from someone else in Lithonia. Mizzou has pulled surprises before, and the Tigers were at one point showing interest in Hall's MLK high school teammate, lineman Kwan Stallworth. But I'm thinking (a) is infinitely more likely.

There's a chance that Hall gets annoyed that Mizzou leaked his commitment (sort of) and decides to sign elsewhere; hey, anything's possible in recruiting. Still, I will take this for now as a pretty good sign of impending good news from the city of Lithonia, Ga. And if you've seen Hall's highlight film and offer list (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Maryland), this is very good news.

Terry Beckner Jr. gets all of the love

There will be no official word from Beckner's camp until Signing Day, but it appears the East St. Louis blue-chipper's Mizzou visit went about as well as you could hope for it to go.

Beckner will announce his commitment at 9:45 a.m. CT on Wednesday. Mizzou's odds are good, but they aren't 100%.

Brandon Martin is evidently still a Tiger

Martin
PowerMizzou.com - Brandon Martin Update

Mizzou's most recent receiver commit made quick official visits to LSU and Miami this past weekend. He's still listed as a Mizzou commit at this point, but he's got a few other things to worry about at the moment, like how and when he's going to graduate from high school now that Prime Prep has lost its charter.

JUCO defensive end Marcell Frazier committed on December 18, and tackle-to-be Tyrell Hypothetically, a Prime Prep student could transfer to a public school zoned to their residence and be eligible to participate in UIL athletics after a 15-day waiting period, if that student wasn’t recruited or transferred for athletic purposes and was living with a parent or established guardian.

But if that student wants to transfer to one of the charter schools participating in the UIL, such as South Dallas’ Triple A Academy, it becomes murkier, UIL policy director Jamey Harrison said.

"This is an unprecedented situation," Harrison said, "and we’re still trying to determine how the existing UIL rules would relate to this particular set of circumstances."

Mizzou has proven willing to take on plenty of sign-and-place guys through the years, and it could have as many as three in this class: Nate Strong, Josh Moore, and Brandon Martin. It sounds like we won't officially know if Martin will make it for a while, but he has a lot of hurdles to clear.

A drama-free day?

National Signing Day is known for hat ceremonies, down-to-the-wire recruiting stories, and general drama. And it does appear Mizzou will head into Wednesday not officially knowing if the top prospect on the board, Beckner, will be a Tiger. But with Martin seemingly locked down, Beckner's odds looking pretty good, and no other known commitments visiting other schools, it appears that Wednesday could be pretty drama-free for Miz--actually, you know what? I'm just going to go ahead and knock on wood and decide not to finish that last sentence.

WHATNOT

Drew Lock
The Trib: MU commit Lock fine with being center of attention

Smash Agbasimere
PowerMizzou: Long journey to Signing Day

(That's a fantastic piece on Agbasimere. Use this as your weekly reminder that now's the best time to see what PM has to offer. Solid, up-to-date, honest reporting.)

Negativity
ESPN.com: Coaches go inside the art of negative recruiting