All appears mostly quiet when it comes to Missouri football recruiting right now. It doesn’t appear any major local offers went out during June camp season, so between now and Mizzou’s July Night at the Zou event, it’s doubtful there will be too much substantive news. (Here are some of the goings-on from last year’s Night at the Zou, if you need a refresher.)
Mizzou does have a stake in what’s happening this week at The Opening Finals, however. Three huge local targets are involved.
First things first: what are The Opening Finals?
In short, it’s Nike’s recruiting Super Bowl.
This will be the seventh year of the competition, and it’s technically a few different events rolled into one. In order to score an invite, recruits must qualify by attending and performing well in one of the numerous regional Nike recruiting camps throughout the spring. The component containing the players’ testing numbers is now done in an app.
In total, 166 players made the cut in 2017 and get to go to Nike’s massive Beaverton, Ore. campus with expenses paid by the apparel giant. They’ll receive instruction and guidance from an experienced group of trainers. [...]
There’s also a lineman challenge, where the best OLs and DLs go up 1-on-1, many of them wearing pads to give the most realistic assessment of skill. (Players from some states aren’t allowed to strap up, due to restrictions by their high school athletic associations.)
While the linemen do their thing, the skill players do theirs in a 7-on-7 tournament. It culminates with a final on Sunday to close the event.
It plays out like a combine, basically.
Here’s the roster for The Opening Finals. Three Missourians made the cut: CBC receiver Kamryn Babb, Parkway North defensive tackle Michael Thompson, and Lutheran North defensive end Ronnie Perkins, younger brother of potential Mizzou starting safety Ronnell Perkins.
Mizzou remains in decent standing with all three prospects — as in, the Tigers are still involved. They will need a nice fall on the field to hope to land any or all of the three, but it remains a possibility.
Of course, that requires these prospects to wait until the fall (or later) to make a decision. Thompson and Perkins appear to be taking that path, but Babb is hinting at either another cut to his list ... or an outright decision.
SB Nation’s recruiting chief Bud Elliott says Babb is still in contention to become the No. 1 WR prospect in the class. If he were to make an early commitment, it would almost certainly be to Ohio State.
Take your time, Kamryn. No, uh, need to rush a decision this important.
A couple of other tidbits:
- Four-star IMG Academy offensive lineman Verdis Brown visited Mizzou recently and will likely take an official visit to Columbia this fall. Brown is the No. 186 prospect in the country per Rivals and No. 184 per the 247Sports Composite. He is originally from Chicago, and the 247 Crystal Ball says he’s an Ohio State lean (who isn’t?), but Mizzou has been on him for a while. We’ll see if perseverance pays off. The Buckeyes can’t sign literally everybody, can they?
- Can they?
- Mizzou made the top 10 for 3-star Daytona Beach offensive lineman Adonis Boone. Boone is the No. 1274 prospect in the country per the Composite. Among the other contenders for his services are Mississippi State, Louisville, Indiana, Rutgers, and home-state USF, now coached by Charlie Strong.