Twenty recruits committed to Missouri last week on National Signing Day. Bill already told you what the class looked like, but I wanted to give a run at breaking this class down.
Top Recruit: Tre Williams - DE
The #1 recruit in the state of Missouri was in the Tigers' backyard in the form of 6'5, 220-pound defensive end Tre Williams. Heralded as the latest "next Aldon Smith," he looks the part athletically and could develop into the next Tiger to represent "D-Line Zou" in the SEC.
Runner Up: Damarea Crockett - RB, a four star recruit with explosive speed, Crockett-Rocket could push for playing time due to his excellent size and speed combination.
Instant Impact: Nate Strong - RB
The JUCO running back provides an immediate improvement in the size and depth of Mizzou's backfield and continues a trend of the Tigers signing bigger backs many feel is necessary in the SEC. Coming to Mizzou as a true sophomore, Strong will need to embody his name while toting the rock and will look to start from moment he reaches campus.
Runner Up: Dominic Collins - WR, a JUCO who will challenge for playing time right away.
Sleeper Watch: Jerod Alton - CB
Hailing from Kirkwood, Jerod Alton hopes to quickly remind fans of another Tiger great -- Jeremy Maclin. He is a dynamic athlete who could play on either side of the ball. He's listed as a cornerback, and the coaching staff appears to have sold him on becoming the next Aarion Penton or E.J. Gaines, but don't be surprised to see him running back kicks or perhaps taking a bubble screen to the house.
Runner Up: Trey Baldwin - LB, a do-everything athlete in high school who will quite possibly see the field as a true freshman.
Biggest Surprise: Brendan Scales - TE
Decommitting from Alabama the night before National Signing Day to play closer to home, Scales meshes perfectly with the staff's desire to emphasize a more powerful running game. At 6'4, 230 pounds, the hybrid tight end/fullback gave a lift to coaches and fans alike when he decided to play for the school he grew up a fan of.
Biggest Miss: Marvin Terry
The first player to commit when Barry Odom took over as head coach, the talented pass rusher had run in with the law last summer prior to the one that landed him in jail on National Signing Day. Missing on the position of need isn't as bad as the failure of either staff to properly vet and communicate Terry's legal issues and character.
Biggest Miss: Hayden Johnson - FB, a Columbia kid who would have fit perfectly into what the new staff want to do offensively, Johnson committed to Arkansas early and stuck with the Hogs. The blow was softened when Brendan Scales flipped to the Tigers.
Best Get: Damarea Crockett - RB
Flipping the long-time Boise State commit on a secret official visit two weeks before National Signing Day was a great move for Josh Heupel and Missouri's offense. Getting the explosive Little Rock running back from within a rival's borders is simply a bonus, especially if he turns into a solid college running back.
Runner Up: Micah Wilson - QB, a legacy commit at a position where Missouri lost a lot of depth and talent in a matter of days. Wilson's flip from Boise State also helped bring Crockett to the Tigers.
Best Name: Quintraven Baldwin - LB
Quoth Quintraven, "Need I say more?"
Runner Up: Tre'Vour Simms - OL. It's pronounced "TRAY-vore" but it looks like the massive lineman could De'Vour a full plate of hot wings in minutes. [Ed. note: I hate you so much sometimes.]
Most Needed: Tre'Vour Simms - OL
The latest in a pipeline of St. Louis recruits who have chosen to stay close to home and compete in the SEC, Simms is a huge get, and not just because he's 315 pounds. Simms' addition to the offensive line could mean early playing time given the lack of depth and experience ahead of him. Competing against one of the best defensive lines in the country, which features former high school teammate Terry Beckner Jr., will only serve to aid him in his quest to become a Freshman All-American.
Runner Up: Trystan Castillo - OL. Missouri's first commit, Castillo was courted heavily by other schools when Gary Pinkel retired, and his loss would have meant the Tiger's recruiting class would only add one freshman to a dangerously thin position group. Luckily, he reaffirmed his commitment after taking an official visit to Columbia.
Strongest Unit: Defensive backs
I've already mentioned Alton, but Missouri signed an entire defensive secondary with their 2016 recruiting class, including Christian Holmes on the opposite corner, DeMarkus Acy at free safety and JUCO strong safety Greg "Hired Assassin" Taylor.
Runner Up: Running backs. While the staff fought to add even more depth before signing day, the addition of Crockett and Strong means a bigger, more balanced bevy of backs for Josh Heupel's new offense.
Best Recruiter: Cornell Ford
Leading the charge with seven commits, Missouri's Cornell Ford leaned heavily on his St. Louis and regional connections to pull in Tre'Vour Simms, Nate Strong, Greg Taylor, Jerod Alton, Tucker McCann, Albert Okwuegbunam,and Brendan Scales. That's a very good haul.
Mizzou Football Scholarship Count
•Rock M NationEarly enrollees, Trey Baldwin, Cale Garrett, Tucker McCann and JUCO QB Jake Lowary, are listed with yellow backgrounds under the freshman class. We are counting Tyler Howell, a JUCO transfer who originally committed last year but was admitted in January of 2016 - in the 2016 recruiting class.
The Tigers' biggest need for the 2017 recruiting cycle is offensive and defensive line. Missouri already has offers out to local offensive lineman Marquis Hayes and Larry Boyd as well as the top recruit in the state, defensive end Chester Graves. Mizzou is heavily targeting Texas for offensive and defensive linemen and has offers out to all the top talent in the Lone Star state.
I've already begun tracking Mizzou's offer list on our Recruiting Big Board and will endeavor to update it and our 2017 Recruiting Stream as news comes out. I'll also have a post about where Missouri stands with local recruits up later today, so check back around lunchtime.