The 2021 Missouri recruiting class got an unexpected shot in the arm on Friday when the transfer portal warped Oklahoma offensive lineman E.J. Ndoma-Ogar into the ‘21 class of new Tigers. Transfers don’t count towards any recruiting rankings but bringing in a blue-chip offensive lineman is never a bad thing.
According to Rivals, Missouri’s ‘21 recruiting class ranks an unprecedented 21st; as a reminder, Missouri’s past four recruiting classes ranked 54th, 34th, 39th, and 49th so this is unfamiliar territory. In fact, the last time Missouri brought in a recruiting class better than 27th was in 2010, also ranking 21st. That class featured 23 guys, 7 of which were 4-stars (Kony Ealy, James Franklin, Jimmie Hunt, Marcus Lucas, etc.) and also featured 3-stars like Henry Josey, E.J. Gaines, Mitch Morse, and Marcus Murphy. By no means am I saying this class will have the production and success of that class, but that’s the neighborhood this class is hanging out in.
So, here’s the recruiting class so far:
Currently, Missouri’s at 20 incoming players: four 4-stars, fifteen 3-stars, and Ndoma-Ogar (a 5.7 coming out of high school). As I pointed out in Friday’s scholarship roster break down, Missouri can bring in a class of 27 so there’s seven more gents who can potentially get a scholly in this cycle.
Just for fun, here’s the 20-best players in the state of Missouri:
For reference, the names in bold are kids Missouri has offered, non-bolded names have yet to receive an official offer. Missouri has had the best success with the Missouri kids of ‘21, but Ohio State and Notre Dame nabbed the top two recruits in the state. Illinois also grabbed two guys in Brody Wisecarver and Chevalier Brenson but Missouri hasn’t shown any interest in those two.
Ok! So let’s breakdown the recruits with official Missouri offers and see who the Tigers have a shot at.
Tyler Macon is the guy for 2021. Lamarcus Brown is a backup in case something happens with Macon but, considering he’s planning on arriving on campus in January, it’s hard to see Macon not being a Tiger next year.
I figured Missouri would be good with Butts and Harris but Missouri has been making a big push on JUCO product Tiyon Evans from Hutchinson Community College. Evans has an offer list including Oklahoma State, Houston, UCF, South Carolina, and Maryland. He could provide some nice depth and class balance but I don’t see it as a big loss of the Tigers miss out here.
Jaden Payne and Reece Jesse are still the best chances for Missouri nabbing a receiver from the high school ranks this year. Payne seems to be the most likely to sign with the Tigers but, if they don’t get either of these guys, then they’ll have to hit the transfer portal to fill out depth.
Missouri currently has two tight ends committed and the two guys left on the board probably aren’t signing with the Tigers. Yes, Hoerstkamp has enough interest that maybe there’s a flip coming in the future but, realistically, I feel pretty safe in saying there won’t be any changes from this position group.
Oddly enough, the one other guy Missouri seems to have a chance with in the position group is current Mississippi State commit Makylan Pounders. When teams struggle - like MSU currently is - it’s easy to start picking at their commits and trying to get them to flip. Pounders seems to be open to discussion but it’s unclear at this point how it will play out. Regardless, none of the “officially” available tackles on the big board are likely Missouri signees so the Tigers will need to either hope Pounders flips, expand the offer sheet, or hit the JUCO/transfer portal since their only projected tackle is Jackson product Connor Tollison.
Interior Offensive Linemen
Similar story for the interior linemen. Getting Ndoma-Ogar is huge since the guys currently on the board are spoken for or not interested.
Five defensive ends signed so far with two more - Patrick Tukes and De’Von Holmes - also heavy Missouri leans. Missouri certainly needs a talent infusion at this position - and Robledo will probably switch to tackle once he gets on campus - but seven signees from one group is a lot. It’ll be interesting to see a.) if they do get seven and b.) how they use the guys they get. It could be a crowded defensive end room for a few years, especially if the current seniors choose to come back next year.
One recruit - plus the aforementioned likely position-change from Robledo - so far but there are three tackle recruits that Missouri is pushing for. Boaz Saint-Vil and Isaiah Iton are good leans for the Tigers while Realus George, a current Old Dominion commit from Independence Community College, is a new target that Brick Haley is chasing after.
Missouri has two 3-stars coming in - and have a slight lead over the competition for Dameon Owens - but that’s about it. Like I said on Friday, if Missouri wants to keep a 4-2-5 defensive alignment going forward that’s fine but, in my opinion, they have too many linebackers on scholarship. I find it hard to believe they take three in this class.
Missouri has three high school corners plus a listed “Athlete” in Davion Sistrunk who is projected as a corner. This is the other big position of need and the Tigers have loaded up. A few of these guys might translate to safety but it doesn’t looking like Missouri will be getting any more guys to commit from this known offers list. Don’t rule out a JUCO or transfer.
Trinity Catholic’s Tyler Hibbler is committed and it looks like Isaiah Taylor is super high on the Tigers as well. Missouri is currently at 8 safeties on scholarship and will probably want to make sure they bring two in to keep up depth and versatility for their second largest position group from a 4-2-5 base.
Of all the guys I mentioned that are interested in Missouri and haven’t signed, almost all of them are unranked. I know that can be disappointing but some of these dudes just haven’t been evaluated yet and, once they commit, the recruiting services will assign them a ranking so don’t get too discouraged. At this point I judge Drinkwitz and his staff’s evaluation skills and if they’re chasing unranked dudes it has to be for a good reason. I also trust them to recognize realistic circumstances and chase transfer portal dudes or JUCOs when its absolutely needed. There aren’t a lot of big names left on the board to make an impact but recruiting in 2020 is weird and we might yet be surprised by some late developments.