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Missouri offers a few four-star prospects ahead of January visit weekends

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The recruiting dead period is ending, and there are three potentially hectic weekends of visits between now and National Signing Day. What's the latest buzz regarding Mizzou recruiting?

A few four-stars worth following

Barry Odom and his (still incomplete!) staff have begun to put out feelers to some new names -- either well-regarded, uncommitted prospects or players who might be swayed from their current commitments. This is a fishing expedition and may only produce one or two visitors, but here are some names to track while we wait for news.

Dillon Sterling-Cole

QB | Houston, TX (Westfield) | 6'2, 185 | 247: ****Rivals: ****

Sterling-Cole committed to Arizona State in September and holds coast-to-coast offers: Florida, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Utah, UCLA. We obviously don't know how receptive he is to visiting -- he certainly has a lot of #ForksUp on his Twitter page -- but a new coach jumping in late in the recruiting process can sometimes pique a kid's interest.

Here are his Hudl highlights. Nice, strong arm.

Quartney Davis

WR | 6'2, 181 | Houston, TX (Langham Creek) | 247: ****Rivals: ****

Davis is already scheduled to visit OU and OSU in the coming weeks and also lists offers from LSU, Houston, and Ole Miss, so getting him on campus could be tricky. (That's the case for all of these guys, huh?)

Davis hasn't posted senior film on Hudl, but you certainly get the gist from his junior film.

You don't learn a lot about his route-running here, but the whole "being really fast and bouncy with the ball in his hands" thing is still quite impressive.

Damarea Crockett

RB | 5'11, 212 | Little Rock, AR (Little Rock Christian) | 247: ***Rivals: ****

It feels like creeping, but we did have to notice that the Boise State commit followed Josh Heupel, and vice versa, recently on Twitter. Maybe that means something, and maybe it doesn't mean a damn thing.

The guy's got quite a stutter-step, and you can almost see when he shifts from fourth to fifth gear. Leaves people in the dust.

Potential graduate transfer?

A name to track: recently announced Alabama transfer Chris Black. A product of Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast high school, Black was a top-50 recruit out of high school and caught 25 passes for 290 yards over portions of three seasons. He waited his turn behind Amari Cooper and company but couldn't quite secure a starting job in 2015, then was lost for the season with injury. He is likely to graduate in May or August, which would make him eligible for a graduate transfer.

A known visitor

Clifton Lewis

LB | 6'1, 210 | Fort Bend, TX (Hightower) | 247: ***Rivals: ***

Call it the Demontie Effect. The one-time TCU commit got a Mizzou offer recently and, according to PowerMizzou, will be taking an official visit to Columbia.

One read, then fly to the ball. (The highlight at 1:15 is my favorite.)

Mizzou is going after JUCO safeties

The safety depth chart is both exciting and perilous at the moment. Greg Taylor isn't on campus yet (I don't believe), and Tavon Ross is hurt, meaning if Cam Hilton and (perhaps) Ronnell Perkins both end up sticking at WR, the list of available safeties this spring doesn't extend too far beyond Anthony Sherrils and Thomas Wilson.

It probably isn't a coincidence, then, that Mizzou recently offered two different JUCO safeties.

Kyzir White

S | 6'2, 210 | Scranton, PA (Lackawanna CC) | 247: ****Rivals: ****

The West Virginia commit hasn't immediately shown he'll set up a visit.

He's listed at 6'2, 210. On film, he looks about 6'4, 235. Pretty raw for a JUCO prospect (not a lot of form tackling there) but all sorts of athleticism.

London Iakopo

S | 6'0, 215 | Long Beach, CA (Long Beach CC) | 247: ***Rivals: ***

Iakopo is an Arizona commit, but with the Wildcats getting rid of their defensive coordinator, Iakopo might be more open than White to a visit. Even before Jeff Casteel's dismissal, Iakopo was considering a Louisville visit. And then Greg Brown came to Missouri from Louisville.

There is no highlight film more enjoyable than that of a linebacker/safety who hits really, really hard.

A fight to the end for linemen

There's nothing new to report, but as new names emerge in the coming weeks, one of the most important story lines to track will be those of Missouri's three committed offensive linemen. Trystan Castillo, Royce Newman, and Trevour Simms have all either fielded Big Ten offers and made visits recently (Castillo to Minnesota, Newman to Nebraska), and Simms, of course, is evidently still at least partially considering Illinois. In Gary Pinkel's final years in charge, the decommits were held mostly to a minimum, but the loss of players like Germain Ifedi (Texas A&M) and Simon Goines (UCLA) definitely took a toll up front. Holding onto these three would be lovely.

2017's going to be pretty fun to follow (we hope)

The 2016 class obviously isn't over, but tracking the 2017 class should be incredibly interesting, both because of the high-caliber local talent and because this will be the first time we'll get to see Odom's recruiting plan in action over an entire year.

PowerMizzou: Five to watch in 2017: Offense

PowerMizzou: Five to watch in 2017: Defense