1. Two Sunday commitments boost Missouri in the recruiting rankings.
On Sunday, Missouri picked up verbal commitments from three-star Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge safety Martez Manuel (via PowerMizzou.com, free) and four-star Wayne Hills (N.J.) tight end Charles Njoku. Manuel was one of the many recruits in town for Missouri’s “Night at the Zou” recruiting extravaganza; Njoku has been trending to Mizzou for quite some time and announced his commitment in a video on his Twitter account.
Missouri’s still not lighting the world on fire in recruiting — the Tigers’ class currently ranks 67th nationally and last in the SEC, via Rivals.com — but it’s important to take timing into context.
Njoku’s commitment puts #Mizzou class 65th in the country, but tied for 32nd in terms of average star ranking (3.0). Tigers will move up quickly as they add more players. Eight commitments right now.— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) July 29, 2018
It’s that tweet that shows the importance of putting timing into context in recruiting. Yes, Missouri doesn’t rank high right now — but they also have plenty of upward mobility as they get more commitments. What’s holding Missouri back right now in the recruiting rankings isn’t so much the quality of recruits — it’s the quantity. Ole Miss has 24 commitments (3.09 star average). Texas A&M has 23. They’ll replace some lower-rated recruits with higher ones; some higher-rated ones will flip and be replaced with lower ones. But their class ranking blueprint is already pretty much set.
Missouri, meanwhile, has much more room to shoot up the rankings.
I’m not saying Missouri will finish above either team come National Signing Day, but if you’re focused on Missouri’s national rating RIGHT NOW, you’re missing the picture. Instead, compare the cumulative average of prospects to other Power 5 teams. Look at where Missouri stands with it’s top uncommitted targets. And finally, look at which Missouri commitments and targets are undervalued, and have the chance to shoot up the rankings during their senior year.
Missouri will eventually get the number of commitments needed to vault up the team rankings. For now, pay more attention to the quality, not the quantity.
2. More on Njoku’s commitment.
Good blood lines.
New Missouri TE/WR commit Charles Njoku is the younger brother of Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku, former 1st-round draft pick from Miami— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) July 29, 2018
Njoku could play tight end or receiver for Missouri, too. From Todderick Hunt of NJ.com:
“They said it depends on how much weight I put on the first year,” said Njoku, who is looking into potentially enrolling early. “They want me as a tight end but it depends on my weight. If I don’t put on enough weight, they will use me as a receiver. But right now I’m up to 6-5, 205.”
Njoku’s desire to enroll early is something to watch, too. He’s a player that more teams will likely go after as they miss out on Plan A prospects; his offer list will look drastically different in a few months. If he plans to enroll early, however, that gives Missouri even more of an advantage in holding onto his commitment.
3. One of Terrance Phillip’s accusers speaks out.
I’m not going to editorialize on any of what’s transpired via Twitter over the last few days, but we included Phillip’s tweet on the Title IX process last week and I wanted to include the other side, too.
I said I was going to keep my mouth shut about the Terrence Phillips situation, but I changed my mind real quick. Read below: pic.twitter.com/PfqpLlLgvY— Shannon Krutek (@shannonkrutek) July 29, 2018
For more on the issues with the Title IX process, check out this series from the Columbia Tribune that started on Sunday.
4. Hey, a Border War revival? Does anyone care?
Some Mizzou basketball alumni lost to some Kansas basketball alumni 109-101 on Saturday night in Independence, Mo. Here’s a free recap of the event from PowerMizzou.com
Here’s a read on Kareem Rush’s efforts to make this game happen, via the Kansas City Star.
Yesterday at Rock M
- Bill’s favorite running backs of the last 20 years.
- Martez Manuel commits to Mizzou
- Charles Njoku commits to Mizzou