‘Tis the season for decommits and wayward glances — it’s 15 days to National Signing Day, and this is where things start to get weird.
So far, so good for Mizzou, though. Per this Rivals piece on Mizzou commit Case Cook, that’s partially because of the coaches and partially because of the commits themselves.
“We are a tight-knit group. It’s not that Missouri is telling us anything special, it’s just that we are a bunch of guys that know how to play the game and we want to build something that is special," Cook said. "I think that us being from all over the country makes that even more special, because we don’t know one another, like we’re close now, but we all live different lives, but we are all connected now by Mizzou and football.”
Cook referenced linebacker commit Jamal Brooks in the piece; Brooks has been commonly regarded as the social chair of the group.
Mizzou heads into the final two weekends of visits with some good peer pressure going on. Of the eight known visitors for this coming Saturday, six are Mizzou commits. Probably can’t hurt with the other two.
A few other recruiting notes:
- Mizzou is in Zion Debose’s top four. The defensive end visited Columbia last month.
- Adam Sparks, who has been getting sniffs from other schools, appeared to enjoy his home visit this week.
Was a perfect one Appreciate the in-home Visit pic.twitter.com/GjLNTMBzZe— 1️⃣3️⃣ ™ (@adamsparks18) January 15, 2017
- Receiver commit Elijah Gardiner still gets mail.
Fight to the finish, etc.
- A couple of 2018 recruiting notes: Henry Ballard III is still solid to Mizzou after signing in 2016 but failing to qualify, and four-star quarterback Tanner McKee got himself a Mizzou offer this week.
Grateful to receive an offer from The University of Missouri! Thanks coach Heupel! Go Tigers! pic.twitter.com/Tjcfo7orPZ— Tanner McKee (@McKeeTmckee) January 16, 2017
- Really, really enjoyed this New York Times piece on former Mizzou assistant Dave Toub, who will probably score an NFL head coaching gig in the near future powered by his love of special teams. Toub has a certain lieutenant you might remember, too.
Toub and his assistant, Brock Olivo, the first recipient of the college special-teams player of the year award in 1997, also assign grades to 350 potential draft picks. They value two qualities above all: instincts and speed.
“If you have that combination, you know you’ve got a guy,” Toub said. “The floor is going to be at least a good special-teams player.”
If a prospect does not play special teams, Toub and Olivo review his offensive or defensive film and project possible roles. If two receivers or defensive backs are perceived as similar, Toub said, the special-teams mark breaks the tie.
- Baseball coach Steve Bieser spoke with the Trib this past weekend. I do like this guy.
- Mizzou Football color commentator Howard Richards has a new gig within the university: assistant director for community relations. It’s not exactly a “Make St. Louis like Mizzou” position, but...
- Evan Unrau was named Mizzou’s SEC Legend for 2017. I’d forgotten she was that prolific (16 PPG as a junior, 17 as a senior), but I hadn’t forgotten that Kansas State game.
Mizzou fans will recall Unrau's most memorable night on the court on Feb. 22, 2004. The Tigers hosted No. 8 Kansas State and fell in a double overtime thriller, but Unrau stole the show. She racked up a career-high 40 points on 15 field goals and added 15 rebounds in an incredible effort that caught national attention. Unrau's 40-point night was a home-court single-game scoring record that stood until last season, when current Mizzou sophomore Sophie Cunningham poured in 42 points against Wake Forest.
- Nice tribute to Mitchell Smith, who’s out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
- Anybody got some AddSheets lying around? Looks like Mizzou’s going to need to save some money. Some more money, that is. Seems the two constants in this state are a) Democrats sacrificing higher ed funding as their first concession in negotiations and b) Republicans just lopping off higher ed funding from the start. I’m sure that won’t have consequences beyond the already rather visible consequences all the previous cuts had. Good times.