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Missouri in the hunt for top football and basketball recruits

A roundup of Missouri football and basketball recruiting news from the week of April 2nd to April 7th.

Kentucky v Missouri Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

It has been a busy week in Missouri Tigers recruiting, both in basketball and football.

We’ll get to basketball updates but let’s start with football. The Missouri Tigers sent out five offers to 2018 athletes and were named in “top” lists for two others during first week of April.

Mizzou makes Top 5 for Alabama linebacker

2018 recruit La’Dedric Jackson is a 6'2, 210 lbs three star linebacker at Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Alabama. Jackson’s “Top 5” are 1) LSU, 2) Mizzou, 3) Ole Miss, 4) Tennessee, 5) N.C. State. You can check out his HUDL here.

Jackson’s list prompted a response from Missouri’s top QB target James Foster, saying “Do I smell a trio?” This is in reference to his “package deal” tweet last week regarding Sidney Lanier HS, Alabama four star DE/DT, and ESPN top 300 player Alfred Thomas, who tweeted out his own top list — with Mizzou at #2.

2018 4-star DT Alfred Thomas Top 8

We all know Missouri doesn’t have to look even outside its own borders to find blue-chip defensive line talent, but no one will complain about another 6'2", 270 pounder on the defensive line. Check out his HUDL here.

Is Foster the key to Mizzou’s 2018 recruiting class?

That’s Sidney Lanier High School’s James Foster - notice a connection with the recruits listed above? Our own Ethan Triebsch attended The Opening in Atlanta two weeks ago and got a chance to talk with Foster while there.

Foster told Triebsch that his recent visit to Missouri “helped solidify the Tigers’ status as his #1 choice” and that was despite receiving an offer from in-state Alabama. Foster is also reportedly close with top Missouri’s top target in-state receiver prospect and if the Tigers landed the quarterback’s commitment, it could sway him to become a Tiger as well.

That’s at least three recruits linked to James Foster. If Michael Porter Jr. has been the point man for Missouri basketball recruiting I suppose you could say the same about Foster’s potential impact for football.

Missouri’s staff isn’t sitting tight on the recruiting, or even the quarterback, front.

2018 4-star QB Chase Wolf

The Tigers just offered Chase Wolf, a 3 star dual-threat QB from Saint Xavier HS, Ohio. As I quipped on twitter, Missouri has won some games with QBs from Ohio and QBs named “Chase” so mixing the two seems like a win/win. You can check out his HUDL here. Wolf has offers from Iowa State, Maryland, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

2018 4-star QB Cammon Cooper

Josh Heupel is also looking back to the state of Utah for another QB prospect by offering Elite 11 and ESPN top 300 Cammon Cooper at Lehi HS. Check out his HUDL here. Cooper has offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Washington State.

2018 3-star QB Tyler Shough

Still out west, the Tigers recently offered 6’5, 195 pound Arizona QB Tyler Shough (I can only assume his middle name is “Big”). Check out his HUDL. Shough has offers from Michigan, South Carolina and several Ivy League schools.

2018 3-star WR Rondale Moore

Closer to home, receiver Rondale Moore announced he’d received an offer from Missouri. Check out his HUDL here. Rated the top WR in Kentucky, the 5’9, 175 pound Moore has offers from Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue, Alabama, and Illinois.

2018 unranked TE Tommy Tremble

Tremble, an unranked 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end from Alpharetta, Georgia, recently landed offers from Maryland, Tennessee and Minnesota and just this week received an offer from Missouri. Obviously the coaching staff is hoping to get in good with Tremble before his recruitment blows up for the dynamic WR/TE hybrid. You can check his HUDL here.

2017 SG Mark Smith recruitment picks up

On Thursday night, 4-star guard Mark Smith from Edwardsville, Illinois visited with Cuonzo Martin. A number of top programs including Michigan State, Michigan, Kentucky, and Illinois also visited. Missouri’s head coach has already met with Smith once, on March 31st.

Smith already picked up an offer from Michigan State last week, and apparently John Calipari liked what he saw enough to offer.

On Wednesday, caught up with Mark Smith about the sudden increased interest.

Coaching changes have slowed the process a little for Smith. He had built relationships with John Groce at Illinois and Tom Crean at Indiana, and both were fired recently. He also had spoken with Martin while at California before coming to Missouri.

“It has definitely affected my decisions,” Smith said. “I’m back trying to build relationships with coaches. Coach Martin and I already had a relationship because he offered me a scholarship to go to Cal. Coach Groce, when he left that was big because now I have to build a relationship with coach (Brad) Underwood. I have to get a feel if I can trust him. He’s a good guy and we’re building a relationship now. I like coach Underwood a lot.”

Smith speaks very highly of meeting Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo and later talked about looking for a college program where he can “make an impact immediately as a freshman”.

Smith’s recruitment has been linked with blue-chip center Jeremiah Tilmon who just asked out of his National Letter of Intent with Illinois. It’s been reported he won’t make an official visit tomorrow but if the two become a package deal it would be a huge boon to whichever program delivers.

UPDATE: According to this article by Loren Tate of the Illinois News-Gazette, Tilmon to Mizzou is a all but assured due to a recent change in his parental custody.

Mizzou now has Tilmon’s ear ­— with full support of the father — and the family split is such that Tilmon is reportedly no longer residing with his mother. Tilmon mentioned Walker’s name in his request for a release from Illinois, a gesture of friendship. But barring another reversal, his deal with Missouri is completed.

A huge recruiting weekend

High School Basketball: McDonald's All-American Portraits Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Uncommitted 5-star wing Kevin Knox —who I’m sure you know by now will be making an official visit to Missouri tomorrow told Evan Daniels in this video interview that his parents will be also be visiting this weekend and that Knox and Michael Porter Jr. will take a red-eye flight from Portland to Columbia after tonight’s Nike Hoops Summit game.

Point guard Blake Harris, who was once committed to Washington along with Porter Jr. is also scheduled to visit Mizzou this weekend, after which he’ll Michigan State on April 13-14, UConn on April 18-19, and Rutgers on April 21-22. Michigan State is considered in the lead for Harris, per 247sports’ Crystal Ball.

The late signing period for “prospective student-athletes” signing 2016-17 and enrolling 2017-18 begins on April 12, 2017 and ends on May 17, 2017.

This late signing window would not necessarily apply to Michael Porter Jr., Blake Harris or Jeremiah Tilmon but instead to previously unsigned recruits like Kevin Knox who have not been released from a NLI, according to

NLI policy states a prospective student-athlete is only permitted to sign one valid NLI in an academic year. Therefore, if you sign an NLI during the early period and get a complete release by the institution or one of the NLI committees before the spring signing period ends, you are not permitted to sign a second NLI in the spring. You must wait until the next academic year to sign another NLI if you have not enrolled already at a four-year institution.

Speaking of, I was reminded of previous such huge recruiting weekends

2018 PG Elijah Weaver announces favorites

Missouri made the cut for 6’4, 195 pound 4-star point guard Elijah Weaver and that’s certainly some elite company. In no order it appears the Tigers will be competing against Oklahoma State, USC, Maryland, Gonzaga, Villanova, Connecticut, Virginia, Georgia Tech, UCLA, NC State, and Florida.

Nike Hoops Summit Tonight!

Yet another high profile basketball tournament for Mizzou commit Michael Porter Jr. and friends.

He’s already shown off a highlight dunk

Full highlights of Thursday night’s scrimmage

And been acclaimed as the best player on the court

Here’s the roster, complete with current measurements:

2017 USA Junior National Select Team Measurements

Here’s how to watch:

What: Nike Hoop Summit Basketball Game - Team USA vs. World Team

When (date/time): Friday, April 7. Tipoff at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET.

TV Channel: ESPN 2 (Comcast / Xfinity channel 36, or 736 for HD)

Watch Live Stream Online: Use WatchESPN, or the WatchESPN app.