This week I wanted to take a look at some of the other guys in the state of Missouri who aren’t getting the same hype but could be on Tiger’s radar. Not every guy below has a D1 or Power 5 offer, and none of them have a Missouri offer ... yet! But things can change quickly, especially if many of them make it to the Junior day the Tigers are hosting this weekend.
Offers: Central Michigan, Syracuse, Louisiana Tech
A teammate of four star defensive tackle Trevor Trout, Marcus Greer lines up typically at tackle but would need to step inside to guard in college. He’s probably maxed out his frame in terms of functional bulk but if he can improve his fundamentals and keep a lower center of gravity he could be in store for an offer.
If Missouri is looking for some added depth at the defensive tackle spot, they could look for the massive Khristian Boyd who already has an offer from Missouri’s hated rival to the west. He’s a pass-rushing defensive tackle who plays some fullback — a position the Tigers are looking to fill since the departure of Josh “Big Bear” Augusta. Building a strong relationship with Boyd could provide insurance if one of Missouri’s top targets doesn’t pan out.
Shakespeare Williams has quite a name and a quite a game judging by his highlights. In the first two minutes you see him on kickoff coverage, receiver, free safety, nickle corner, running back and quarterback. He’s an athlete in search of a role. He stood out to me when I saw him at Missouri’s “Night at the Zou” event last year and I think the reason for his lack of offers may have more to do with there not being enough tape of him at any one position.
We’ve talked about Kennedy before and how Missouri’s coaches want this mammoth mauler to trim down to 300 pounds. He has visited Missouri several times to watch practice as well as last year’s “Night at the Zou” and has “dreamed of going to Missouri since he was a little kid” but was a concerned about the protests that happened in November of 2015. Has a close connection with the Tigers because of where he goes to high school and being friends with Claire Lock, Drew Lock’s younger sister.
Offers: Army, Wyoming, Central Michigan
With the frame of a future starting left tackle and the athleticism of a dual-sport athlete who plays both football and basketball, Grant Norton is definitely on Missouri’s radar and vice versa. If you’re looking for the next Justin Britt - here’s your guy. If Missouri makes an offer, this could be a quick commitment.
Farr’s invitation is likely because he appears to have the physical size coaches want, but his HUDL film is pretty sparse (the video below is 33 seconds).
Hayden Bollinger looks like one of those hyper productive high school linebackers who loves stuffing the run and rushing the passer. His listed size appears to be a tad under-sized but that’s likely why the coaching staff want to get him on campus and have a closer look. We already suspect Barry Odom’s staff is working with some kind of SPARQ athletic rating system so if Bollinger can prove he’s an explosive play-maker he may overcome any perceived limitations.
Offers: Bowling Green, Eastern Kentucky,
Jake Papez plays on the same team as his brother, Brad Papez, a 6’6, 266 pound offensive tackle, so size runs in the family. As a tight end, Jake’s highlights consist primarily of him lining up as a flex end and running inside slants or posts for long touchdowns. Missouri will want to see if he can fit what they want to do.
I would be personally remiss if I didn’t have a fullback on this list but Caleb Marquez is more than just a stereotypical bulldozing blocking back, he’s a baseball player too. I’m a big fan of dual/multi sport athletes at the high school level because it speaks to their overall athleticism and versatility. Missouri receivers coach Andy Hill is linked with his recruitment and watching Marquez’s highlights you can see his knack for catching passes out of the backfield. He’d make a great H-back in the Brendan Scales mold.
Offers: Iowa St., Minnesota, Syracuse
Devin Ruffin is a two-way football player for Lutheran North, playing running back and linebacker but his instincts seem to be for defense. He shows an ability to cut into the backfield to make tackles for a loss or drop into coverage which is why I think he might be better suited as a strong safety at the college level. He visited Illinois last weekend and has already visited Iowa and Iowa State this month but only has an offer from Matt Campbell’s Cyclones who’ve made the St. Louis area a priority.
Graves has visited Missouri several times, including Missouri’s “Night at the Zou” event last year. He’s also been steadily bulking up to become more of a physical presence on the line. The state of Missouri seems to have a surplus of big defensive ends who might match the defensive scheme Barry Odom seems to prefer. Getting Graves on campus to measure how well he’s managing the added weight could go a long way toward determining if he has a future with the Tigers.
Offers: Iowa St., Minnesota, Syracuse
Marshall, a teammate of Tiger Top Ten Ronnie Perkins as well as Devin Ruffin who also appears on this list, is a regional recruit with the usual offer list. Missouri’s staff is going to be evaluating these local recruits to make sure no diamonds in the rough are missed and Marshall fits the ‘all-purpose’ role that has become a mainstay of Tiger offenses. Coaches likely hope to find out exactly how explosive Marshall can be.
Parker visited Missouri in November of 2016 during the Tiger’s win over Arkansas. Watching his film a few things stand out: he dwarfs the other kids and when he’s playing QB the passes are rarely very far downfield. I think Parker is probably more of a LB, DE or TE at the college level but the fact he plays both sides of the ball in high school is a statement on his athleticism.
6'5" 280lbs, OL/TE, Eureka High School, Eureka, MO - HUDL
6'8" 285lbs, OL, Central High School, St. Joseph, MO - HUDL
Tracking Tiger Targets
The above tweet comes from four star receiver/cornerback Mario Goodrich, one of Mizzou’s “Tiger Top Ten”. He’ll be in Columbia for the MSHAA basketball state tournament where his team will face Trevor Trout’s Chaminade, who is also in Columbia. Either way, Mizzou basketball being in the news has got his attention.
St. Louis receiver Cameron Brown will be in Atlanta this weekend.
Missouri’s top QB target, James Foster II, who visited last weekend but came away without committing, got an offer from Marshall.
This list should by no means be taken as comprehensive or exhaustive. There are undoubtedly high school football players in the state of Missouri who haven’t blossomed yet or done the camp circuit and thus haven’t been noticed. Many don’t use twitter or social media to announce their every move.
The changes we’re seeing to the way the Tigers run local talent evaluation is likely the effect of having AJ Ofodile on staff. Ofodile’s experience with Missouri recruiting from his coaching days gives him an undeniable edge and his eye for talent will be what Barry Odom is counting on. It’s my opinion several of the above recruits could earn D1 offers or a preferred walk-on role in much the same way Travell Lumpkin had other Power 5 offers but walked on to Missouri.
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If there are other players you seriously think should be on Missouri’s watch list, feel free to let us know in the comments below or DM-ing the Rock M Recruiting twitter account.