About three months after Mizzou pulled off a miniature recruiting coup — getting all 10 members of a loaded set of early in-state offers to town at the same time for an unofficial visit — the always-a-longshot goal of landing all 10 has begun to disintegrate.
First, Cameron Brown committed to Nebraska. This one was a bit of a surprise because of its timing — Brown seemed like one Mizzou felt reasonably comfortable about for a while, and suddenly he was done. (Well, “done.” You can’t sign anywhere for a few more months, but he was at least done enough to file his NU reservation.)
Then came a pair of blows on Tuesday. Mario Goodrich, long considered a Nebraska lean (it was assumed that he would be the first to commit elsewhere), finally pulled the trigger and committed to NU as well.
Then, later in the evening, Daniel Carson listed his top 11, and Mizzou didn’t make the cut.
No interviews please. Respect my Decisions! pic.twitter.com/g2k0f68Axw— Daniel Carson ® (@sports__finest) May 24, 2017
Unlike Brown, it had become clear for a while that these two weren’t holding Mizzou in particularly high regard. But the double blow of confirmation still stung a bit.
No matter what Barry Odom and his staff are trying to sell, Mizzou is, for another four months at least, the team that won nine games over its last two years. And any immediate “What if...” effects of getting the “Tiger 10” to campus wore out when recruiters from every other school on these players’ list reminded them of that.
As I wrote in the Cameron Brown post, “nothing is binding, and a happy fall in Columbia would still put the Tigers in good shape. If you’re Barry Odom and company, that has to be the focus.” There’s nothing saying the Tigers can’t get back involved with these players if they win enough games in 2017. But the more attrition that occurs before the fall, the more of a longshot landing even five of the Tiger 10 becomes.
The good news, as it were, is that the players at the top of the in-state list are taking their time. Goodrich and Brown are the No. 6 and 7 players in the Tiger 10, according to the 247Sports Composite, and Carson is No. 9. Goodrich is a four-star guy, but Mizzou is in on out-of-state players with rankings similar to that of Brown and Carson. As with Brown, the damage from Goodrich and Carson is as symbolic as anything.
Meanwhile, none of the top five players — CBC receiver Kamryn Babb, Parkway North tackle Michael Thompson, Ritenour linebacker Ayodele Adeoye, Lutheran North defensive end Ronnie Perkins, or Chaminade tackle Trevor Trout — are expected to make significant cuts to their lists just yet.
That doesn’t automatically mean good things for Mizzou, obviously. The offer lists for these five players are absurd. They can go anywhere they want. Still, if the goal is to play stall ball until you can prove yourself in the fall, then it’s all you can hope for.
It's still early in the process , my focus is getting to mizzou and helping my team win ball games , we win games , recruits will stay home https://t.co/nbEaiGmsMC— Jamal Brooks (@jbroo26) May 24, 2017
So when might some good news happen for Mizzou in the recruiting realm?
Keep an eye on Arlington (Tex.) running back Jalen Knox. The 5’11, 185-pound mid-three-star guy has his Mizzou offer tweet pinned on his Twitter profile...
...and recently mentioned that he could be making a decision soon.
I've been saying that I was going to commit during this upcoming fall season but I'm thinking my decision is coming very soon— Jalen Knox (@JalenKnox9_) May 22, 2017
Either he’s a strong Mizzou lean, or he’s pulling off some impressive misdirection.
Knox lists offers from Baylor, Boise State, Illinois, Iowa State, Utah, and Wisconsin, among others. He would be a nice get, and some good news would be all sorts of welcome.