If you’re talking about Mizzou with just about any fan, one of these three topics is likely to come up:
- Restarting the kU rivalry
- Is Barry Odom really the guy?
- Closing the borders in recruiting
Odom’s success as the head coach at Missouri and his ability to lock down the borders, for some fans, are completely dependent upon each other.
The play on the field Saturday night left a bad taste in all of our mouths, but checking Twitter on Labor Day and seeing the news that Mizzou took another step towards closing the borders for 2020 gave some a bit of a pick-me-up.
On Monday, 2020 3-star defensive end Jalen Logan-Redding announced he’s committing to Mizzou. Logan-Redding reportedly holds more than a dozen offers from power-five schools scattered across the country, including the likes of Iowa, Nebraska and Texas.
Logan-Redding is Mizzou’s 13th known commitment for the 2020 class. Most importantly, he’s the seventh from the state of Missouri. If you include East St. Louis DE Kevon Billingsley as an “in-state” recruit, that number jumps to eight. However you slice it, more than half of the 2020 class has roots in Missouri.
Here’s a quick rundown of Missouri’s in-state commits (including the KC & StL metro areas) since Barry Odom took over as the head coach:
2020 - Eight
2019 - Six
2018 - Four
2017 - One
2016 - Eight
There’s an obvious trend— one that most Missouri fans have been rooting for over the years. Odom recognizes the value of in-state recruits. He’s not going to recruit players from Missouri just because they’re in-state, and I think there’s been a disconnect on that front for quite some time between this staff and the fanbase.
Odom recognizes talent. And the state of Missouri is loaded with talent over the next couple years. According to Rivals, there are currently 23 players in the 2020 class from the state committed to a power-five program.
These are the classes Missouri needs to take advantage of. For me, it’s never been about “sealing the borders.” It’s about making sure that when there’s a boom in talent across the state, you’re able to take advantage of it. It’s still early. But through early September, Odom is doing just that for the 2020 class. Logan-Redding is simply the latest example.