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Following Missouri’s signing classes to the finish (2019 update)

The 2015 and 2016 classes are shaping up to be fairly accomplished ones, with time to build.

Missouri v Purdue
Jalen Knox got pressed into starting duty as a true freshman, keeping him in the running to be one of the few Tigers players of recent vintage to be a four-year starter.
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

It’s that time of the year again, when I check back in on some research I started at the Columbia Daily Tribune and continued here at Rock M Nation. It began with the class of 2002, Gary Pinkel’s first full class as head coach and the first year of the ever-helpful database.

When you’re trying to determine just how important every single signee is to the future of Missouri football, it’s good to give you a frame of reference as to how likely it is that your average Missouri signee achieves different levels of achievement during their Tigers careers.

Here’s some helpful information on criteria before we get started:

  • Only classes that have had at least five years to complete themselves are factored in the likelihood percentages. The 2014 class is the most recent one included, as all of its redshirt seniors have moved on. I included more recent classes (2015-18) in the study so you can take a look at how they’re shaping up, but they don’t factor into the probability percentages.
  • A “starter” is defined as someone who started at least half of the team’s games in a given season. This year, for example, Tyree Gillespie was a “starter.” Tre Williams and Akial Byers, technically, were not, because they started only six of 13 games. This leads to odd quirks like Chase Coffman being a three-time all-conference performer, yet only a one-year starter.
  • A “spot starter” is anyone who has ever started a game, but never started at least half of them in a season. Yes, I realize someone who started one game in his career isn’t exactly a “spot starter,” but he started in a spot. So let’s get literal with it.
  • ”Played” means just that. If you played at least one regular-season game in a Missouri uniform, you fall into that category.
  • Specialists were not counted as starters, even if they handled the team’s primary kicking or punting duties. They are not technically starters, per the participation report.
  • All-conference selections were determined as first- or second-team choices by either the coaches or the Associated Press. Players who made both coaches and media lists in a year were only counted as one. All-America selections were determined based on the five teams officially recognized by the NCAA.
  • Players who began their careers as walk-ons were not included in the study, as they were not technically part of signing classes. Sorry, Barrett Banister, Jonah Dubinski, Adam Ploudre, Max Copeland, Randy Ponder and Colin Brown.
  • Players who signed out of high school, didn’t qualify, then were signed again out of junior college were counted in the second signing. They were still used in the class count from the first signing year as well, as it was ostensibly still a signing spot taken up by a player who did not become a part of that class.
  • Players who transferred in are not counted, as they were not part of the signing classes for ranking purposes on Rivals.
  • ”Class record” is determined by the team’s record in the five seasons after the signing class came in.

So, knowing all that...

Of the 299 players Missouri signed from 2002 to 2014, here is the percent likelihood that a player would...

  • Play in at least one game: 79.9 (239)
  • Start at least one game: 51.8 (155)
  • Be a starter for at least a year: 44.5 (133)
  • Be a multi-year starter: 29.1 (87)
  • Be a three-year starter: 13.4 (40)
  • Be a four-year starter: 1.67 (5)
  • Be an All-Conference player: 16.4 (49)
  • Be a two-time All-Conference player: 5.02 (15)
  • Be a three-time All-Conference player: 0.67 (2)
  • Be an All-American: 2.34 (7)
  • Be a two-time All-American: 0.33 (1)

To be updated in the spring...

  • Get drafted: 10.4 (31)
  • Get drafted in the first round: 2.68 (8)

Now, how do we quantify how successful a class is as a whole? It’s tricky. There are many things to consider.

The proportion of signees who played? Who started? Who held down a starting spot for at least a year? For multiple years? Who were all-conference or All-America performers? Who got drafted? What about the on-field success of that class?

We tried to throw it all into a blender and come up with something for you.

We assigned points to each player for playing, starting, one point each for how many years he was a starter, points for all-conference selections (two for first-team, one for second-team), points for All-America selections (three...because it’s a step up from all-conference?), then points for which round of the draft they went in (3.5 for first round down to 0.5 for seventh round).

Then we divided each category by the size of the signing class and added them all together — plus the class win percentage — for a total.

Not perfect, but good enough to start some arguments, right? Here’s what we got:

So, with still a little bit of ground left to cover in the draft – maybe Paul Adams, maybe Kevin Pendleton – the 2014 class is coming in as the least accomplished, collectively, of all the classes we’ve studied so far. It could possibly catch up to 2004 with a good draft showing, but catching 2007 for 11th of 13 is unlikely.

While the percent who played (82.1) is above the sample average, the percent who started (46.4), percent of starters (32.1) and percent of multiyear starters (17.9) were well below. Plus, no all-conference selections from the class.

2015, with one fewer year of accumulation, has already surpassed 2014. And it’s only going to get better as Drew Lock, Terry Beckner and Emanuel Hall get drafted this year. 2016, too, has surpassed 2014, with two years to build. Both of those classes have already netted four all-conference players.

Here’s a year-by-year breakdown:


Class Size: 26 National Rank: 39th

One-Year Starter (1): WR Jalen Knox (3-star)

Spot Starter (2): TE Daniel Parker (4-star); WR Kam Scott (3-star)

Played, Not Started (14): LB Chad Bailey (4-star); LB Nick Bolton (3-star); OL Xavier Delgado (3-star); DE Jatorian Hansford (3-star); DE Trajan Jeffcoat (3-star); LB Gerald Nathan (3-star); OL Mike Ruth (3-star); DT Antar Thompson (3-star); WR Khmari Thompson (3-star); TE Cameron Wilkins (3-star); RB Tyler Badie (2-star); RB Simi Bakare (2-star); WR Dominic Gicinto (2-star); CB Jarvis Ware (2-star)

Two-Year Record: 8-5 (.615)



Class Size: 25 National Rank: 49th

Two-Year Starter (1): OL Yasir Durant (3-star)

One-Year Starter (5): CB Adam Sparks (3-star); DT Walter Palmore (3-star); RB Larry Rountree (3-star); S Tyree Gillespie (2-star); DE Chris Turner (2-star)

Spot Starter (4): DE Nate Anderson (3-star); DT Rashad Brandon (3-star); DT Akial Byers (3-star); S Jordan Ulmer (3-star)

Played, Not Started (10): S Joshuah Bledsoe (3-star); LB Jamal Brooks (3-star); TE Logan Christopherson (3-star); OL Case Cook (3-star); LB Aubrey Miller (3-star); CB Terry Petry (3-star); QB Taylor Powell (3-star); OL Hyrin White (3-star); OL Larry Borom (2-star); DT Kobie Whiteside (2-star)

Two-Year Record: 15-11 (.577)



Class Size: 22 National Rank: 47th

Two-Year Starter (5): CB DeMarkus Acy (3-star); OL Trystan Castillo (3-star); LB Cale Garrett (3-star); TE Albert Okwuegbunam (3-star); OL Tre’Vour Simms (3-star)

One-Year Starter (2): CB Christian Holmes (2-star); WR Dimetrios Mason (2-star)

Spot Starter (4): RB Damarea Crockett (4-star); DE Tre Williams (4-star); WR Dominic Collins (3-star); DT Markell Utsey (2-star)

Played, Not Started (9): RB Nate Strong (4-star); CB Jerod Alton (3-star); K Tucker McCann (3-star); OL Kyle Mitchell (3-star); TE Brendan Scales (3-star); S Greg Taylor (3-star); QB Micah Wilson (3-star); LB Trey Baldwin (2-star); QB Jack Lowary (2-star)

All-Conference: Acy, Garrett, Okwuegbunam, Simms

Three-Year Record: 19-19 (.500)



Class Size: 24 National Rank: 27th

Four-Year Starter (1): QB Drew Lock (4-star)

Three-Year Starter (2): WR Emanuel Hall (3-star); WR Johnathon Johnson (3-star)

Two-Year Starter (3): DT Terry Beckner Jr. (4-star); LB Terez Hall (3-star); S Cam Hilton (3-star)

One-Year Starter (2): DE Marcell Frazier (3-star); OL Tyler Howell (3-star)

Spot Starter (3): WR Richaud Floyd (3-star); S Ronnell Perkins (3-star); CB T.J. Warren (3-star)

Played, Not Started (11): RB Chase Abbington (4-star); LB Franklin Agbasimere (3-star); OL Malik Cuellar (3-star); P Corey Fatony (3-star); OL A.J. Harris (3-star); CB Anthony Hines (3-star); DE Nate Howard (3-star); DT Tyrell Jacobs (3-star); DT Josh Moore (3-star); WR Justin Smith (3-star); RB Ryan Williams (3-star)

Two-Time All-Conference: Lock

All-Conference: Beckner, Frazier, Hall

Four-Year Record: 24-26 (.480)



Class Size: 28 National Rank: 34th

Three-Year Starter (2, 7.14%): OL Paul Adams (3-star); OL Kevin Pendleton (3-star)

Two-Year Starter (3, 10.7%): CB Kenya Dennis (3-star); LB Brandon Lee (3-star); RB Ish Witter (3-star)

One-Year Starter (4, 14.3%): WR Nate Brown (4-star); S Thomas Wilson (3-star); OL Samson Bailey (2-star); DE Walter Brady (2-star)

Spot Starter (4, 14.3%): CB Logan Cheadle (3-star); DE Spencer Williams (3-star); TE Kendall Blanton (2-star); WR Keyon Dilosa (2-star)

Played, Not Started (10, 35.7%): WR DeSean Blair (3-star); LB Grant Jones (3-star); WR Lawrence Lee (3-star); WR Thomas Richard (3-star); S Tavon Ross (3-star); WR Ray Wingo (3-star); QB Marvin Zanders (3-star); OL Mike Fairchild (2-star); CB Finis Stribling IV (2-star); LB Roderick Winters (2-star)

Percent Started: 46.4

Percent Played: 82.1

Class Record: 35-29 (.547)



Class Size: 21 National Rank: 41st

Three-Year Starter (3, 14.3%): WR J’Mon Moore (3-star); CB Aarion Penton (3-star); S Anthony Sherrils (3-star)

Two-Year Starter (1, 4.76%): DE Charles Harris (2-star)

One-Year Starter (6, 28.6%): OL Alec Abeln (3-star); DT Josh Augusta (3-star); LB Joey Burkett (3-star); OL Nate Crawford (3-star); DT A.J. Logan (3-star); S Duron Singleton (3-star)

Spot Starter (2, 9.52%): LB Eric Beisel (3-star); TE Jason Reese (3-star);

Played, not started (4, 19.0%): DE Marcus Loud (3-star); QB Eddie Printz (3-star); OL Clay Rhodes (3-star); S Shaun Rupert (3-star)

Percent Started: 57.1

Percent Played: 76.2

Two-Time All-Conference: Moore, Harris

All-Conference: Penton

First-Round Draft Pick: Harris

Other Draft Pick: Moore

Class Record: 39-26 (.600)



Class Size: 19 National Rank: 31st

Four-year Starter (1, 5.26%): OL Evan Boehm (4-star)

Three-year Starter (2, 10.5%): TE Sean Culkin (3-star); LB Michael Scherer (3-star)

Two-year Starter (2, 10.5%): DE Rickey Hatley (3-star); LB Donavin Newsom (3-star)

One-year Starter (6, 31.6%): WR Dorial Green-Beckham (5-star); CB John Gibson (3-star); DE Markus Golden (3-star); RB Russell Hansbrough (3-star); QB Maty Mauk (3-star); DT Harold Brantley (2-star)

Played, not started (5, 26.3%): WR Levi Copelin (3-star); RB Morgan Steward (3-star); S Chaston Ward (3-star); OL Jordan Williams (3-star); DT Evan Winston (3-star)

Percent Started: 57.9

Percent Played: 84.2

All-Conference: Golden, Green-Beckham

Draft Picks: Boehm, Golden, Green-Beckham

Class Record: 37-27 (.578)



Class Size: 17 National Rank: 48th

Three-year Starter (2, 11.8%): LB Kentrell Brothers (3-star); OL Connor McGovern (3-star)

Two-year Starter (2, 11.8%): OL Taylor Chappell (3-star); S Ian Simon (3-star)

One-year Starter (4, 23.5%): DT Sheldon Richardson (4-star); WR Wesley Leftwich (3-star); OL Brad McNulty (3-star); DE Shane Ray (3-star)

Spot Starter (4, 23.5%): QB Corbin Berkstresser (3-star); S Cortland Browning (3-star); LB Clarence Green (3-star)

Played, not started (3, 17.6%): OL Michael Boddie (3-star); CB David Johnson (3-star); CB Ernest Payton (3-star)

Percent Started: 70.6

Percent Played: 88.2

All-America: Ray

Two-Time All-Conference: Brothers

All-Conference: Richardson, Ray

First-Round Draft Picks: Ray, Richardson

Other Draft Picks: Brothers, McGovern

Class Record: 41-24 (.631)



Class Size: 23 National Rank: 21st

Three-year Starter (6, 26.1%): QB James Franklin (4-star); CB E.J. Gaines (3-star); DT Matt Hoch (3-star); OL Mitch Morse (3-star); WR Bud Sasser (3-star); S Braylon Webb (3-star)

Two-year Starter (4, 17.4%): DE Kony Ealy (4-star); WR Marcus Lucas (4-star); RB Henry Josey (3-star); DT Lucas Vincent (3-star)

One-year Starter (4, 17.4%): WR Jimmie Hunt (4-star); RB Marcus Murphy (3-star); S Kenronte Walker (3-star); TE Eric Waters (3-star)

Spot Starter (1, 4.3%): OL Anthony Gatti (3-star)

Played, not started (5, 21.7%): OL Nick Demien (4-star); S Daniel Easterly (3-star); LB Darvin Ruise (3-star); CB Xavier Smith (3-star); RB Greg White (3-star)

Percent Started: 65.2

Percent Played: 87.0

Two-time All-Conference: Gaines, Murphy

All-Conference: Ealy, Josey, Morse, Sasser, Webb

Draft Picks: Ealy, Gaines, Morse, Murphy, Sasser

Class Record: 46-20 (.697)



Class Size: 25 National Rank: 40th

Three-year Starter (3, 12%): WR T.J. Moe (3-star); LB Andrew Wilson (3-star); OL Justin Britt (2-star)

Two-year Starter (3, 12%): S Jarrell Harrison (3-star); DE Michael Sam (2-star); WR L’Damian Washington (2-star)

One-year Starter (5, 20%): RB Kendial Lawrence (3-star); OL Jack Meiners (3-star); S Jasper Simmons (3-star); LB Donovan Bonner (2-star); S Matt White (2-star)

Spot Starter (1, 4%): DE Brayden Burnett (3-star)

Played, not started (9, 36%): LB Josh Tatum (4-star); LB Adam Burton (3-star); WR Jaleel Clark (3-star); OL Chris Freeman (3-star); QB Ashton Glaser (3-star); WR Kerwin Stricker (3-star); S Tavon Bolden (2-star); DT Marvin Foster (2-star); OL Mark Hill (2-star)

Percent Started*: 48.0

Percent Played*: 84.0

All-America: Sam

All-Conference: Moe, Wilson, Britt, Sam

Other Draft Picks: Britt, Sam

Class Record: 43-22 (.662)

* — Richardson counted with 2011 class



Class Size: 23 National Rank: 25th

Three-year Starter (4, 17.4%): OL Dan Hoch (4-star); LB Will Ebner (3-star); LB Zaviar Gooden (3-star); WR Wes Kemp (3-star)

Two-year Starter (7, 30.4%): QB Blaine Gabbert (5-star); CB Kip Edwards (3-star); S Kenji Jackson (3-star); DE Aldon Smith (3-star); DE Jacquies Smith (3-star); TE Michael Egnew (2-star); WR Jerrell Jackson (2-star)

One-year Starter (5, 21.7%): TE Andrew Jones (4-star); DE Brad Madison (3-star); OL Travis Ruth (3-star); DT Jimmy Burge (2-star); LB Brian Coulter (JUCO transfer)

Spot Starter (3, 13.0%): WR Gahn McGaffie (3-star); CB Robert Steeples (3-star); WR Rolandis Woodland (3-star)

Played, not started (2, 8%): DT George White (3-star); DE Marcus Malbrough (2-star)

Percent Started: 82.6

Percent Played: 91.3

All-America: Egnew

Two-time All-Conference: A. Smith, J.Smith, Egnew

All-Conference: Hoch, Madison

First-Round Draft Picks: Gabbert, A. Smith

Other Draft Picks: Gooden, Egnew

Class Record: 41-24 (.631)



Class Size: 27 National Rank: 33rd

Four-year Starter (2, 7.4%): OL Elvis Fisher (3-star); CB Carl Gettis (3-star)

Three-year Starter (2, 7.4%): DT Dominique Hamilton (3-star); OL Austin Wuebbels (3-star)

Two-year Starter (6, 22.2%): RB Derrick Washington (4-star); S Justin Garrett (3-star); LB Luke Lambert (3-star); OL Jayson Palmgren (3-star); DT Terrell Resonno (3-star); LB Andrew Gachkar (2-star)

One-year Starter (1, 3.7%): RB De’Vion Moore (3-star)

Spot Starter (2, 7.4%): CB Trey Hobson (3-star); CB Tremane Vaughns (3-star)

Played, not started (8, 29.6%): DE Michael Keck (4-star); DT Andy Maples (4-star); RB Gilbert Moye (4-star); OL J.T. Beasley (3-star); DE Jaysen Corbett (3-star); DT Chris Earnhardt (3-star); LB Tyler Crane (2-star); P Jake Harry (2-star)

Percent Started*: 48.1

Percent Played*: 77.8

All-Conference: Washington, Hamilton, Lambert, Wuebbels, Gachkar

Draft Picks: Gachkar

Class Record: 48-19 (.716)

* — White, Woodland counted with 2008 class



Class Size: 24 National Rank: 47th

Three-year Starter (2, 8.3%): OL Tim Barnes (3-star); LB Sean Weatherspoon (2-star)

Two-year Starter (4, 16.7%): WR Jeremy Maclin (4-star); WR Jared Perry (3-star); CB Kevin Rutland (3-star); DE Tommy Chavis (2-star)

One-year Starter (3, 12.5%): CB Castine Bridges (3-star); S Pig Brown (3-star); WR Danario Alexander (2-star)

Spot Starter (1, 4.2%): S Del Howard (3-star)

Played, not started (7, 29.2%): DL Bart Coslet (3-star); DE John Stull (3-star); LB Marquis Booker (2-star); OL Mike Prince (2-star); CB Paul Simpson (2-star); WR La’Roderick Thomas (2-star); DT Charles Gaines (JUCO transfer)

Percent Started*: 41.7

Percent Played*: 70.8

Two-time All-America: Maclin

All-America: Alexander

Three-time All-Conference: Weatherspoon

Two-time All-Conference: Maclin

All-Conference: Brown, Alexander

First-Round Draft Picks: Maclin, Weatherspoon

Class Record: 48-18 (.727)

* — Vaughns counted with 2007 class



Class Size: 23 National Rank: 39th

Three-year Starter (4, 17.4%): LB Brock Christopher (3-star); QB Chase Daniel (3-star); OL Kurtis Gregory (3-star); DT Ziggy Hood (3-star)

Two-year Starter (2, 8.7%): CB Darnell Terrell (4-star); DT Jaron Baston (3-star)

One-year Starter (3, 13%): TE Chase Coffman (3-star); S Hardy Ricks (3-star); DT Jamar Smith (3-star)

Spot Starter (1, 4.3%): DT DeMarcus Scott (3-star)

Played, not started (9, 39.1%): DE Tarell Corby (3-star); LB Connell Davis (3-star); DE Chad Marshall (3-star); OL Louis Pintola (3-star); OL Matt Russell (3-star); OL James Stigall (3-star); LB Chad Washington (3-star); OL Dain Wise (3-star); TE Jon Gissinger (2-star)

Percent Started: 43.4

Percent Played: 82.6

All-America: Coffman

Three-time All-Conference: Coffman

Two-time All-Conference: Daniel, Gregory

All-Conference: Baston, Hood

First-Round Draft Picks: Hood

Other Draft Picks: Coffman

Class Record: 45-20 (.692)



Class Size: 25 National Rank: 46th

Three-year Starter (3, 12%): WR William Franklin (3-star); OL Ryan Madison (2-star); DE Stryker Sulak (2-star)

Two-year Starter (2, 8%): HB Tony Temple (4-star); S William Moore (3-star)

One-year Starter (1, 4%): LB Van Alexander (4-star)

Spot Starter (2, 8%): WR Earl Goldsmith (2-star); CB Domonique Johnson (2-star)

Played, not started (7, 28%): WR Jerrill Humphrey (4-star); QB Chase Patton (4-star); TE Brian Barmann (2-star); S Mack Breed (2-star); RB Jimmy Jackson (2-star); LB Steve Redmond (2-star); CB Trenile Washington (2-star)

Percent Started: 32.0

Percent Played: 60.0

Two-time All-Conference: Moore, Sulak

Draft Picks: Franklin, Moore, Sulak

Class Record: 42-21 (.667)



Class Size: 22 National Rank: 28th

Four-year Starter (2, 9.1%): TE Martin Rucker (3-star); OL Adam Spieker (3-star)

Three-year Starter (3, 13.6%): OL Tyler Luellen (4-star); WR Brad Ekwereku (3-star); DT Lorenzo Williams (3-star)

Two-year Starter (2, 9.1%): DE Xzavie Jackson (3-star); S Nino Williams (3-star)

One-year Starter (3, 13.6%): RB Damien Nash (4-star); RB Marcus Woods (3-star); OL Monte Wyrick (2-star)

Spot Starter (1, 4.5%): TE Victor Sesay (3-star)

Played, not started (5, 23.8%): DL Josh Barbo (4-star); WR Greg Bracey (3-star); WR Jason Ray (3-star); OL Phinney Troy (2-star); CB Alex Woodley (2-star)

Percent Started: 50.0

Percent Played: 72.7

All-America: Rucker

Two-time All-Conference: Rucker

All-Conference: Luellen, Spieker, Williams

Draft Picks: Nash, Rucker

Class Record: 40-22 (.645)



Class Size: 22 National Rank: 29th

Three-year Starter (3, 13.6%): DT Atiyyah Ellison (4-star); LB Dedrick Harrington (4-star); DE Brian Smith (3-star)

Two-year Starter (5, 22.7%): LB Marcus Bacon (3-star); OL Joel Clinger (3-star); S David Overstreet (3-star); DE Zach Ville (3-star); OL Mike Cook (2-star)

One-year Starter (1, 4.5%): OL Steven Sanchez (3-star)

Played, not started (10, 45.5%): DL Fabian Bean (4-star); RB Mario Whitney (4-star); QB Brandon Coleman (3-star); S Josh Hibbets (3-star); LB Emmett Morris (3-star); K Alex Pettersen (3-star); LB Mau Uiagalelei (3-star); P Todd Gohsler (2-star); TE DeQuincy Howard (2-star); OL Phil Tizzio (2-star)

Percent Started: 40.9

Percent Played: 86.4

Two-Time All-Conference: Smith

All-Conference: Ellison, Bacon, Clinger, Overstreet

Draft Picks: Ellison, Smith

Class Record: 33-27 (.550)