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Missouri's 2017 recruiting hot board: Who tops MU's list, and when might the next commit come?

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Let's take a look at the recruiting numbers and speculate wildly from there.

How come Missouri ain't got no recruits?!?!

To date, Mizzou has landed two commitments for the 2017 class: DaRon Davis and Hyrin White. I could only find accurate records of Missouri's recruiting under Gary Pinkel after 2003, and some of the numbers may be slightly skewed due to players committing early/late and JUCO additions. But below is a general gist of when recruits have committed to Mizzou.

Gary Pinkel - Big 12 Recruiting
Year Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
2004 3 1 2 3 7 6 1
2005 2 1 2 1 1 10 3
2006 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 14 1
2007 1 3 1 3 4 5 4 1 3
2008 1 3 1 5 1 2 1 3 2 6
2009 1 1 1 7 1 1 3 7 1
2010 1 3
4 5 1 2 2 7
2011 1 3 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 1

What you see is that Missouri's recruiting process, at least during the beginning of Pinkel's tenure, didn't really pick up until the summer -- June, specifically. It usually came after a May lull reflecting the evaluation period.

Since Missouri joined the SEC, the Tigers have landed at least two commitments in either April or May and have landed at least five commitments by the end of the August.

Gary Pinkel - SEC Recruiting
Year Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
2012 1 2 2 2 1 4 4 2
2013 3 3 2 2 1 1 2 1 1 2
2014 3 3 4 2 3 3 2 3 1 1 3
2015 1 4 2 2 1 1 3 7 2
2016 3 4 1 1 1 1* 1 5 4

Looking at the specific dates, it becomes pretty evident that Missouri lands commits midway through April. Likely this is a combination of the coaches going through spring practices and hosting targets on unofficial visits and the beginning of the "evaluation" period.

The difference between the "quiet" period (February 5 to April 14) and the "evaluation" period (April 15 to May 31) can be boiled down to coaches now being able to visit recruits on their high school campus for "evaluation." It also comes around Missouri's Spring Game, so by then coaches have a better feel for their players.

Barry Odom - 2017 Recruiting
Year Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
2017 1

(Davis' commitment is unlisted because he committed last November and it's counted there.)

The commitment of offensive tackle Hyrin White continued a trend of Missouri landing a March commitment in nine of the last 11 years. Going off those same trends, we might also predict two to four commitments in the month of April.

The new coaching staff has still been playing catch up until the recent Spring Break, balancing practices and the recruiting grind. While I think Odom will push Missouri to improve its recruiting, I don't think we've seen a drastic shift in philosophy -- specifically, this staff isn't pushing kids to commit now, then hoping to hold on to them for 10 months.

Looking ahead

In the next two weeks we'll undoubtedly see new offers, probably with a focus on quarterback, defensive line and running back. Going through the known offer list I've created, the below table details the total number of offers out to each position, the total committed to other schools and available within each unit, and the number of commits I see Missouri taking in each group.

Position Offers Committed Available Estimated Size Stretch Size
Quarterback 6 6 1 1
Running back 13 3 10 1 3
Receiver 22 5 17 1 3
Tight End 9 5 4 1 1
Offensive lineman 39 13 26 4 6
Position Offers Committed Available Estimated Size Stretch Size
Defensive ends 14 2 12 2 2
Defensive tackles 7 1 6 2 2
Linebackers 17 4 13 2 4
Secondary 20 6 14 2 3

If Gary Pinkel was still Missouri's coach I think the 2017 class would be around 16. With eleven graduating seniors plus perhaps one or two early declarations for the NFL (I'm looking at Charles Harris, Anthony Sherrils and/or a random breakout player) and the typical amount of turnover I'd estimate a class around 16.

However, with a new coach comes change and a logjam of players still fighting for playing time at certain positions (like quarterback, wide receiver and offensive line). We could see more players transfer or simply quit football, as we have witnessed this spring. All of that's a long way of saying I could see the Odom and Co. aim for a full class of 25 or perhaps more.

Justifying my estimations:

  • You almost always take one quarterback in every class, but that's especially true with a new coach/offensive coordinator and lack of balance on the current roster.
  • Missouri is in need of running back depth, especially if Marquise Doherty decides baseball is a better avenue for him.
  • Missouri's receiver class is pretty crowded, in large part because of misses and departures in previous years so if the Tigers can't land a surefire contributor I don't think this is the year to chase talent.
  • Tight end is another position where normally you want to take one every year, and I think Joe Jon Finley really wants to land one of "his" guys. But Missouri got both Albert Ok and Brendan Scales in 2016, so missing here might not be a huge deal.
  • I feel pretty strongly Missouri will strive to land impact freshman on the offensive line and try and take as many as they can get with an emphasis on offensive tackles.
  • On the defensive side of the ball, I'd look to replace departures, particularly along the defensive line/edge rusher position groups.

The "Hot Board"

Working under that premise, I decided to put together a "hot board" of recruits for each position group. ("Hot board" is an overused term at this point, but it's overused because it works. We're open to other suggestions.)

The names are of recruits who I feel a) Mizzou has a realistic shot with and b) I believe Mizzou would take their commitment right now. This list is largely speculative, based mostly on what I've seen or read about the recruits.

As you can tell, the quarterback position remains a glaring vacancy, while the offensive line has a host of what I'd consider "committable offers" out. Not every one of the 146+ recruits on our Recruiting Big Board with known offers is listed, and it's obviously subject to the whims of precocious teenagers.

I've taken the liberty to color-code the positions by what I perceive as most needed. I'm basing this by looking at a combination of graduating seniors, players who could declare early for the NFL, and generally where more depth is needed.

  • The two known commitments are in yellow.
  • Those who might best fill the conservative class size of 16 are coded light green.
  • Those preferable in the "stretch" class of 25, I have coded with light blue.
  • Those in orange are other solid, known options whose commitment would likely be welcome.

The names will likely change as offers go out and players commit here or there and the calculus I used to create this first draft may change based on further developments.

This is an ongoing project that you can always check out by bookmarking this link: Missouri Recruiting Hot Board. I welcome input, suggestions, questions etc. If you see something that doesn't make sense, please leave a comment or "@" me on twitter: