It was interesting watching college football coaches reacting to a new recruiting calendar. Everybody understood the good and the bad associated with a February signing day, but nobody seemed to completely know what to expect from December’s early signing period. After signing 16 players on the first day, Barry Odom and his assistants were able to take stock a bit.
“It opens up a window to see who’s really available,” Odom said. “We have a tough decision to make moving forward, but it’s exciting. You get a chance to get a group in now and really evaluate the landscape of who else is out there and make the right fit for your program.”
Proponents of the early signing day support the fact that it allows players to make official visits (and coaches to begin scouting players) during the spring and summer before their junior year. Odom wasn’t thrilled about that development.
“Oh, man,” Odom said, exasperated. “Spring recruiting — think about that. Bringing a kid on campus, he’s 16 years old, a lot of times in their junior year, and you want them to have a college experience? I know what I was doing at 16. I didn’t have any business having a college experience at the age of 16.
With the bulk of their class signed, the Tigers aren’t at risk of having commitments poached by other schools. Last year, Mizzou lost receiver pledges to Notre Dame and Ohio State in the final days before the February signing date.
“Now you don’t get situations like last year,” Walters said, “where you’ve done a really good job evaluating and some of the bigger, more prominent schools come in and pick your pocket a little bit.”
Since he’s been on the job, Odom has taken one out of former coach Gary Pinkel’s book by signing under-recruited players and turning them into stars. Odom has already done that in freshman running back Larry Rountree, who chose Mizzou over FCS schools and kept the trend going in 2018. Missouri flipped Javon Foster, a 6-foot-6 offensive lineman, from Central Michigan and running back Simi Bakare from Tulane. [Dominic] Gicinto is a player that had a breakout senior year and was on the radar of a few top schools, but Odom got his commitment before those programs could turn into threats.
Indeed, Missouri loaded up on receivers this time around, in part because they didn’t sign as many as they intended to last time around. One of them: Raytown’s Dominic Gicinto, who evidently has a hell of a competitive streak:
The Tigers missed on the state’s other more heralded receiver recruits — CBC’s Kamryn Babb and Cameron Brown both chose Ohio State — but Odom wasn’t bashful about Gicinto.
“He competed better than anyone we had in camp all summer,” Odom said. “I want guys who want to be here at the University of Missouri. I want guys who are invested in what we’re doing as a program. They also realize anything they want to accomplish in their college career we’re going to get done here.”
More Football Links:
- No idea of the legitimacy of the account, but it backs up what PowerMizzou’s Gabe Dearmond has been saying for a while: Jedd Fisch appears to be your leader in the OC race.
- That J’Mon Moore gets to end his career in Texas is pretty cool. He’s been through some things during his time at Mizzou.