Yet another Nike Football The Opening Regional event has come and gone with a host of elite southeastern athletes in attendance at Buford High School just outside of Atlanta. While the number of Missouri targets may have decreased from last year, I spoke with two prospects who will be considering the Tigers high on their list come National Signing Day.
One such prospect I spoke to was Lanier High School’s James Foster II out of Montgomery, Alabama. Foster, rated as a three-star dual-threat quarterback by 247Sports, holds numerous offers from elite programs such as Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. Foster is one of the top players in Alabama and is viewed as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in his class, ranking as high as 17th by 247. At The Opening, Foster showed off his powerful arm and proved to many why he is not simply labeled as a ‘pocket-passer’, easily avoiding pursuit by trainers and lofting dimes to receivers downfield.
Catching up with Foster, he let me in on his experience visiting Columbia and his status as a nationally sought-after recruit. Going into his visit, Foster already knew the Missouri Tigers were his top choice, and following a successful trip, Foster stated that “they made it more easy to stay at number one.” Foster, coming off a visit to Alabama Crimson Tide a day before I spoke with him, received an offer from Nick Saban, adding to his growing list of offers.
Foster isn’t afraid to find a new home-away-from-home, however, as he told me that he’d be willing to “go anywhere” and not just stay in Alabama. The quarterback has more visits planned, including a visit to Florida State on April 8 to watch their spring game. Already a deadly threat on his feet, when I asked Foster about his goals for his upcoming season he told me he wishes to improve on his mobility and accuracy. Foster tells me he plans to make a decision regarding his commitment sometime this summer.
Another Missouri target I spoke to at The Opening was La’damian Webb a running back prospect out of Beauregard High School in Opelika, Alabama. Webb is ranked as a three-star running back by 247Sports holding offers from programs such as Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Indiana, and Iowa State. Webb is viewed nationally as a top 35 running back in his class and showed off his strengths at the event. In a group of running backs loaded with talent, Webb was able to demonstrate his ability and versatility at The Opening.
When asked about his initial thoughts on the Tigers, Webb immediately responded by saying that he likes them and that the Tigers are “definitely” going to be one of his top choices. Regarding his overall recruitment, Webb said that he wants to take visits soon and that he plans on releasing a top five sometime in early spring. On participating in The Opening, Webb told me its’s fun being able to watch and compete against some of the top athletes in the class of 2018.
Beauregard (AL) 3* RB La'damian Webb tells me that #Mizzou will "definitely" be one of his top choices.— Ethan Triebsch (@etriebsch) March 26, 2017
As always, The Opening is a great experience for athletes of all caliber to be able to get out on the field and compete. Foster, Webb, and every other prospect are able to utilize this event to take their skill set and experience to the next level, demonstrating to schools like Missouri, why they can make a difference on an SEC-level stage.