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Best Recruits in Mizzou History: Linebackers

During our position previews, we’ll also be taking a look back to see what were the best recruits in Mizzou History.

Missouri v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Donavin Newsom

Ranked a four star (24/7) recruit out of Parkway North in St. Louis when he signed. Newsom flew under the radar when he signed in 2012. Partially because of the overall talent in Missouri, (7 Four-stars or higher in 2012) and because he was going to a Missouri team that had just signed Dorial Green-Beckham.

After a redshirt year and a freshman season that he spent mostly on special teams, Newsom developed into a talented linebacker that manned the middle of the defense in 2015 when the Tigers held claim to a top five defense in the entire country. 163 career tackles and 18 TFL in his career may not be super flashy for a player, but his stability and consistency were so very important during a time where the team as a whole wasn’t very consistent or stable.

Newsom wasn’t drafted after he exhausted his eligibility, but caught on with the San Francisco 49ers before being released due to injury.

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 29 Kentucky at Missouri Photo by Scott Kane/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Brandon Lee

Lee, a four star (24/7) recruit out of Indianapolis, was an exciting player who was signed when the Tigers were at their peak in the SEC. With options like Oregon, Michigan State, and Louisville, Mizzou randomly snagging a four star player out of Indy was a huge deal.

After a redshirt season and one where he played sparingly, Lee finally assumed a role in the linebacking corps with Mizzou. It had been an uphill battle to climb when you factor in the competition in that linebacker group— in 2016, that position group included Lee, Donavin Newsom, Terez Hall, Michael Scherer, Eric Beisel, and an 18-year old Cale Garrett. Talk about a glut of talent.

When Lee was finally given his opportunity, he ran with it. He only started 25 games over his last three seasons at Mizzou, but he was another solid linebacker in a long list of solid dependable linebackers. He finished his career with 124 tackles and 11 TFL, and honestly, it felt like it could’ve been way higher than that. It makes you wonder what his statistical impact could’ve been if he wasn’t sharing his playing time with so many other talented players.

Academy Sports & Outdoors Bowl - Texas v Missouri Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images