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Mizzou might be the destination for Miami transfer Jeff Thomas — and other recruiting tidbits

The former elite East St. Louis WR is on the open market, and at least one local journalist has the Tigers pegged for him transfer. Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Miami v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Once the football season wraps up officially, and we wait for bowl season to kick off there’s a lot of downtime which amounts mostly to waiting on recruiting commitments and signings.

A couple years ago, Barry Odom and the Tigers lost out on the commitment from elite 4-star prospect Jeff Thomas, a wide receiver from East St. Louis. He chose Miami over Oregon, Illinois, and the Tigers (sort of). When Thomas decided to transfer from Miami the local schools immediately popped up on the radar and most of the local scribes shot it down. Cut to a few weeks later and...

This is something of an interesting development.

Thomas is an electric playmaker. He played in 11 games and amassed 563 yards on 35 receptions but reportedly had a rocky relationship with the coaching staff and left the team before the season ended.

NCAA Football: Miami at Toledo Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri isn’t in desperate need of playmakers. They return all of primary targets from last year except Emanuel Hall and Nate Brown. With Jonathan Nance coming in, the Tigers return five of their top seven pass catchers, the need isn’t there. But if you’re looking for a reason your reason is this:

Barry Odom knows what he has this year coming back, how the schedule lays out, and they just landed Kelly Bryant to quarterback the team. If you’re able to add another elite playmaker your margin of error for potentially winning the SEC East goes down a little bit. Missouri already feels their team next season is probably behind only Georgia in the league standings, adding someone as talented as Thomas could get you closer to even and giving you a shot at beating the Bulldogs.

Odom thinks his team next year can compete at the highest level. They’re already in the toughest league, one capable of getting two teams into the College Football Playoff, so the ceiling next year (with a few breaks — obviously) is high. I think Odom going after Thomas means he’s pushing his chips to the center of the table.

Aijha Blackwell is no longer at Whitfield

There are all kinds of rumors going around about what happened. Here’s what I know: Blackwell is no longer at Whitfield and she’s likely transferring to Cardinal Ritter (although Lutheran North is also a possibility) at this point. Whitfield is not blocking her eligibility which could play a factor in whether or not she can play the rest of the year.

As to what happened, I was told she violated the code of conduct at the school. If she were on any level of financial aid for the tuition that could be impacted by an issue like this, and that’s further evidenced by the quote her mother gave when asked in the article:

When asked if her daughter was enrolled at Whitfield, Blackwell’s mother, Amy, said: “Nope. I can’t afford Whitfield.”

That’s a pretty frank quote. What this means for Missouri isn’t much actually, as long as Blackwell goes somewhere and graduates she should be on campus next year. But this does impact Aijha in a negative way. She’s been on campus at Whitfield for 3+ years and was headed towards breaking all kinds of records. Blackwell was also likely a pick for the McDonalds All-American game. In order to participate in that game she kind of needs a senior season.

So little impact for Missouri, but this obviously moves the needle substantially for Aijha personally. Whatever the exact details, I think we can all wish the best for her and those close to her moving forward.

Yesterday at Rock M

Recruiting Tidbits:

  • Mizzou football missed on Kristian Varner, a 3-star DE from Georgia.
  • Missouri Basketball coaches were on the road last night. Cuonzo Martin was in St. Louis with Assistant Coach Chris Hollender at Webster Groves, where Caleb Love and CBC were taking on (and losing to) Webster Groves in the championship game of a tournament. Love was excellent in the game, scoring 24 in a losing effort.
  • A little bird told me that in attendance at the game were Cam’Ron Fletcher (2020 wing from Vashon) and Davion Bradford (a 2020 post from Mehlville), and Hollender and Martin spent a fair amount of time talking to each guy. Bradford has been becoming more and more of a priority for the Tigers, while Fletcher has long been a primary target along with Love. Fletcher had a nice game the night before:
  • So while Martin and Hollender were in St. Louis, Cornell Mann was back in the Mitten. Mann was in to see his son Maliq Carr, and Jalen Terry. Missouri is still focusing heavily on Michigan with Mann’s targets.
  • Meanwhile, Josh Christopher was celebrating a birthday yesterday and got some love from Mizzou, and he put it up on Instagram.
josh christopher birthday