Missouri's football class sits at an underwhelming number so far at five. The Tigers historically have done a good job of developing underrated high school kids and turning them into studs at the college level, but in order to take the next step, Barry Odom is going to have to landing high-end talent, too.
How to start landing better talent: Invite a bunch of the best high school players to your campus and explain how all their talents can mesh together at the University of Missouri.
This Saturday 7/23 the first ever "Night at the Zou"— Rock M Recruiting (@RockMRecruiting) July 18, 2016
A special Mizzou Football recruiting event, free to attend pic.twitter.com/DnktfPQXhj
Odom has planned just that for Saturday's "Night at the Zou" at Faruot Field. Fans are welcome to attend to watch ... a football camp. But it could be cool, or it has the potential to be.
Miami wrapped up a similar camp last week, and new coach Mark Richt invited top-notch high school to talent. Former Miami and NFL greats such as Ray Lewis and Michael Irvin also just dropped by to say hello to the recruits.
Columbia, Missouri isn't South Beach and Mizzou can't match the former Hurricanes' pedigree, but the Tigers still have plenty of former good football players to show the potential new ones a few techniques.
Perhaps Jeremy Maclin can give a few pointers on how to run routes to Da'Ron Davis and Jafar Armstrong. Or Sheldon Richardson can demonstrate his dominating bull rush move to Trevor Trout. Or maybe Justin Britt can show his kickstep to Larry Boyd.
The recruits that are coming to the camp are impressionable enough that seeing an NFL player who's had success, would be an experience for them. They can see that all these players went to the same school, and that could resonate with them.
Then, at the end of the night, show a highlight reel from former players and how they became #MizzouMade to get them hyped up about potentially becoming Tigers. If Odom gets a recruit to commit that night, he should really get pumped up and let them see how excited he is about the new talent coming in.
"Oh he's coming to the Zou. Man I have to think about this now."
(Wednesday put a slight damper on Saturday’s festivities, as highly-touted offensive lineman Marquis Hayes committed to Oklahoma. Before Wednesday, Hayes was scheduled to attend the camp.)
Get all the recruits to feel this way and maybe you'll get a couple more by the season. Have success on the field in 2016, maybe one or two more. Then, by Signing Day 2017, when recruits are going back-and-forth about where to spend the next four years, remind them about Night at the Zou and how the excitement only grew from then. Finish out the class strong and Odom has a solid foundation of talent to build on.
The ball will get rolling for the 2017 class on Saturday night.