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Missouri vs. 4-star in-state prospects: How have the Tigers been doing?

Drew Lock
Drew Lock
Derrick Forsythe (Rock M Nation)

The narrative has fully taken hold: From a recruiting perspective, the 2018 Missouri class is absolutely loaded. Goodness knows we’ve been writing about it, as have plenty of others.

To date, Mizzou has already offered 10 in-state prospects for the 2018 cycle, well more than it offered all of last year. And until reality intercedes, we will look at things from a “DREAM CLASS!!” perspective.

Here are the 10 prospects, along with their current 247Sports Composite ratings:

  1. WR Kamryn Babb (St. Louis), **** (0.9712), No. 47 overall
  2. DT Michael Thompson (St. Louis), **** (0.9627), No. 73 overall
  3. DT Trevor Trout (St. Louis), **** (0.9407), No. 126 overall
  4. DE Ronnie Perkins (St. Louis), **** (0.9075), No. 250 overall
  5. ATH Mario Goodrich (Lee’s Summit), **** (0.9035), No. 268 overall
  6. LB Ayodele Adeoye (St. Louis), **** (0.9014), No. 278 overall
  7. OL/DL Daniel Parker (Blue Springs), *** (0.8739), No. 391 overall
  8. WR/S Dallas Craddieth (Florissant), *** (0.8655), No. 485 overall
  9. WR Cameron Brown (St. Louis), *** (0.8496), No. 598 overall
  10. DE Daniel Carson (Independence), not yet rated

Carson is the most recent offer, I believe, and as we see, Adeoye’s stock has exploded in the last couple of weeks. He and Perkins have both moved up to four stars with the most recent ratings adjustments.

According to 247, the No. 1 in-state player in the 2017 class was sign-and-place Chester Graves from Park Hill. His 0.9082 rating would have ranked him fourth in 2018, just barely ahead of Perkins, Goodrich, and Adeoye.

So we’re up to six four-star guys, and players like Parker and Brown honestly have the offer lists that could lead to a four-star bump as well.

That’s some talent! What does it mean for Mizzou?

Let’s start here:

(Again, we’re talking specifically about in-state guys here, so we’re not counting the sometimes prolific areas just on the other side of the borders — the East St. Louises, Leawoods, etc.)

When Gary Pinkel first came to Mizzou, I remember him saying that he wanted to land about 85% of the in-state kids he offered. Well, he wanted to land 100%, but he thought 85% or so was a reasonable target. Looking at four-stars alone, that at first translated into something between about 50-70%. Adding in two- and three-stars, and he came pretty close to that 85% mark.

There’s been kind of an odd shift in recent years, however. No matter how well Missouri is or isn’t doing on the field, the Tigers have been reliably landing only about 30-40% of in-state four-stars since the new decade began.

Seriously, there’s no correlation between recent record and recruiting success in this regard. This is just odd:

Here’s the list in its entirety. I have moved to using 247 Composite ratings for the most part because they have become the most reliable, but Rivals’ database goes back to 2002 (a.k.a. Pinkel’s first full class), so here’s a list of in-state Rivals four-stars from 2002-17. Missouri landed the ones in bold.


  • RB Mario Whitney (Jackson), RB David Richard (St. Louis), TE Zach Zwilling (St. Peters), LB Wayne Chambers (Grandview), LB Dedrick Harrington (Mexico) — 3-for-5

In a way, Mizzou really went 3.5-for-5 here, since Richard eventually (briefly) transferred there after signing with Michigan State.


  • RB Laurence Maroney (St. Louis), TE Will Paul (St. Louis), OL Tyler Luellen (Bethany), DB Darnell Terrell (Eureka) — 2-for-4
2003 Well Fargo Sun Bowl - University of Oregon vs. University of Minnesota - December 31, 2003
Laurence Maroney
Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

Maroney lands near the top of the Costly In-State Misses list. Mizzou was considered a leader most of the way, but Minnesota pulled out an unexpected victory late in the recruiting process. Mizzou still landed Tony Temple the next year and didn’t lack for good backs, but Maroney was a great college back.


  • QB Chase Patton (Columbia), RB Tony Temple (Kansas City), WR Jerrill Humphrey (Ewing), OL Kyle Riggs (Festus), OL Brett Gallimore (Riverside), LB Van Alexander (Columbia) — 5-for-6

The 2004 class was one of Pinkel’s biggest accomplishments. The Tigers attended their first bowl in five years in 2003, then nearly swept the big names. And the one they missed out on didn’t cost them much — Gallimore didn’t make much noise at Michigan.

This class is also an interesting example of the perceptions-vs.-reality nature of recruiting. This class was a coup for Mizzou ... but only two of the five four-star guys the Tigers landed ended up actually starting for the team. Patton was a career backup (though a good one), Humphrey didn’t last long, and injuries continuously got in Riggs’ way. This class was a sign of great Mizzou momentum, but aside from Temple, the bigger achievers in the class ended up being three-stars Will Franklin and William Moore and lower-rated guys like Stryker Sulak and Jimmy Jackson.


  • WR DJ Hord (Kansas City), WR Chris Brooks (St. Louis) — 0-for-2

I’ve written before about how Mizzou Basketball always manages to time its turmoil and problems when the state is producing a particularly high number of blue-chippers. For Mizzou in 2004-05, that wasn’t the case. The Tigers drastically underachieved on the field in 2004 and missed out on the state’s highest-ranked guys the following February. But there were only two four-stars that year, and neither of them amounted to much at their schools of choice.


  • QB Josh Freeman (Grandview), WR Jeremy Maclin (St. Louis), DE Adrian Clayborn (Webster Groves) — 1-for-3
2008 Nebraska Maclin
Jeremy Maclin
Bill Carter (Rock M Nation)

Also high on the What If list: Clayborn, who, like Maroney, held Mizzou in high regard for quite a while before being steered elsewhere. And of course, Maclin committed to Oklahoma first before flipping. That, uh, was a big one to flip. Mizzou went 1-for-5 in 2005-06 here but landed the most important one.


  • QB Logan Gray (Columbia), RB Derrick Washington (Peculiar), TE Aron White (Columbia), DE Michael Keck (Harrisonville), LB Lamark Brown (St. Louis) — 2-for-5

After landing both Chase Patton and Van Alexander in 2004, Mizzou has since gone just 1-for-7 with four-stars from Columbia. It’s logical for guys to want to leave town and see new things in college, but ... quite a few other football programs don’t have that problem.

(Meanwhile, Lamark Brown would have been a lovely piece on those 2008 and 2010 defenses.)


  • QB Blaine Gabbert (Ballwin), TE Andrew Jones (Smithville), TE Spencer Ladner (Kansas City), LB Will Compton (Bonne Terre) — 2-for-4
Blaine Gabbert
Bill Carter (Rock M Nation)

Mizzou could have gone 1-for-4 here and could have gone 3-for-4. Spencer Ladner seemed always destined to follow his brother to California, but Gabbert and Compton were both Nebraska commits that Mizzou worked on hard down the stretch following the Tigers’ 12-2 season and the Huskers’ collapse. Gabbert flipped and brought three-star St. Louis product Wes Kemp and four-star Iowa product Dan Hoch with him. That worked out well. But Compton stayed put with Bo Pelini.


  • QB Nathan Scheelhaase (Kansas City), RB Montee Ball (Wentzville), RB Ronnie Wingo (St. Louis), DT Sheldon Richardson (St. Louis) — 1-for-4

This is where the on-field success-to-recruiting success ratio started getting weird. Mizzou went 22-6 in 2007-08 but nearly struck out on four-stars in the 2009 class. Ronnie Wingo went south to Arkansas, Nate Scheelhaase chose to succeed Juice Williams at Illinois, and Montee Ball (justifiably) decided that Wisconsin’s offense fit him better than Missouri’s. Ball was another huge miss, obviously, but for whatever reason I don’t have too many regrets about that one. The choice he made was just too smart, even if he could have also posted 2,000-yard seasons in black and gold.


  • QB Tyler Gabbert (Ballwin), RB Brandon Bourbon (Potosi), FB Trey Millard (Columbia), WR Marcus Lucas (Liberty), WR Keeston Terry (Blue Springs), OL Nick Demien (Wentzville), DE Kony Ealy (New Madrid), DT Chase Rome (Columbia) — 4-for-8
Missouri v Oklahoma
Trey Millard
Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

If we’re comparing 2018 to recent years, this is a pretty good one. Missouri produced eight Rivals four-stars that year, and Mizzou nabbed half of them. Trey Millard would have been a nice grab, but Oklahoma and its H-Back position made a lot of sense for him.


  • RB Darrian Miller (Blue Springs) — 0-for-1

Mizzou didn’t miss out on much after underachieving in 2005, but the Tigers also didn’t have much to benefit from following the 10-win season in 2010. The 2011 class ended up quite productive — it produced Shane Ray, Kentrell Brothers, and Connor McGovern, among others — but it could have been even more so with another couple of in-state four-stars.


  • WR Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield), WR Durron Neal (St. Louis), OL Evan Boehm (Lee's Summit), DT Ondre Pipkins (Kansas City) — 2-for-4

Mizzou nearly went 0-for-4, briefly losing Boehm to decommitment before he reupped and barely beating out Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas for DGB. Regardless, the Tigers got the two that mattered most, and both guys played huge roles for the incredible 2013 team.


  • RB Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis), RB Chase Abbington (St. Peters), LB Nick Ramirez (Lee's Summit) — 1-for-3


(It’s interesting, by the way, that basically all of the truly costly in-state misses, Clayborn aside, were running backs. The state has produced a lot of awesome ones. Meanwhile, this year’s loaded crop actually doesn’t feature any big-name running backs.)


  • QB Rafe Peavey (Bolivar), WR Monte Harrison (Lee's Summit), OL Roderick Johnson (Florissant), OL Brian Wallace (St. Louis), OL Andy Bauer (St. Louis) — 1-for-5

This was really 1-for-4, since I believe Harrison ended up choosing baseball over football. But this was a chance for Mizzou to make up for some of its recruiting misses on the offensive line, and it didn’t work out. Johnson never really gave Mizzou much of a thought before choosing Florida State and dominating. Wallace, meanwhile, became a starter late in 2016 for Arkansas, and Bauer had to retire because of injury issues.

Only one of these five have actually played like a four-star in their career, and Mizzou didn’t land that one.


  • QB Drew Lock (Lee's Summit), RB Marquise Doherty (Lee's Summit), WR Alex Ofodile (Columbia), DT Khalil Davis (Blue Springs) — 2-for-4
Drew Lock
Derrick Forsythe (Rock M Nation)

Khalil Davis made a couple of tackles for loss as a redshirt freshman backup this year at Nebraska, while his twin brother Carlos recorded four. But of these four four-stars, only one has come close to playing like it, and it’s Lock, one of the two that Mizzou landed.


  • QB Skylar Thompson (Independence), WR A.J. Taylor (Kansas City), DE Tre Williams (Columbia), DB Roderick Campbell (St. Louis) — 1-for-4

I don’t think Mizzou even offered Campbell, who was kind of a strange four-star in that regard (the Composite had him only as a mid-three). And of these four, only Taylor actually played this year — he caught three passes for Wisconsin. A lot to still be proven here.


  • WR DaRon Davis (Kansas City), WR Jaevon McQuitty (Columbia), OL Marquis Hayes (Maryland Heights), DE Chester Graves (Kansas City) — 1-for-4

Rivals listed Davis as a three-star, which helps — the Composite listed only three four-stars, and Mizzou didn’t get any of them.

Here’s a look at Mizzou’s hit rate, so to speak, and its past and future three-year records.

Missouri and 4-star in-state recruits

3-year range MO 4-stars 4-star hit rate Record (last 3) Record (next 3)
3-year range MO 4-stars 4-star hit rate Record (last 3) Record (next 3)
2002-04 10-for-15 66.7% 47.2% 55.6%
2003-05 7-for-12 58.3% 50.0% 69.2%
2004-06 6-for-11 54.5% 55.6% 73.2%
2005-07 3-for-10 30.0% 55.6% 73.2%
2006-08 5-for-12 41.7% 69.2% 70.0%
2007-09 5-for-13 38.5% 73.2% 66.7%
2008-10 7-for-16 43.8% 73.2% 60.5%
2009-11 5-for-13 38.5% 70.0% 64.1%
2010-12 6-for-13 46.2% 66.7% 70.0%
2011-13 3-for-8 37.5% 60.5% 70.0%
2012-14 4-for-12 33.3% 64.1% 52.6%
2013-15 4-for-12 33.3% 70.0% ?
2014-16 4-for-13 30.8% 70.0% ?
2015-17 4-for-12 33.3% ? ?

What can we glean from all of this? Well, if recent history is any indication, Mizzou will end up landing basically two to three of the six or so four-stars in the state. This is an obvious decline from the start of the Pinkel era, and you can basically pick and choose your favorite completely unverifiable reason for this: recruiting becoming more national, Mizzou’s local relationships faltering, etc.

I am not going into much detail about this because these things aren’t verifiable. For one reason or another, it has happened, and for the most part it doesn’t appear to have had a drastic impact on Mizzou, good or bad. (For all of Mizzou’s issues over the last couple of years, it’s hard to say “If they’d landed these big-name in-staters, this wouldn’t have happened.)

Regardless, Mizzou is going to aim for all six. Actually, the Tigers are aiming for all 10. PowerMizzou’s got some impressive news about how many of them are going to be in town this weekend, and until a clean sweep ceases to be an option, we aim for a clean sweep.