There’s nothing better than a good signing day (week?) surprise. The one that will always stick in the back of my mind is Charles Harris. The former Lincoln Prep graduate committed to the Tigers on Signing Day back in 2013 and the collective response was... “Who?!”
That turned out alright. He turned out to be a 2-time All-SEC selection, was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft and was a significant piece of Missouri’s continued “D-Line Zou” mantra.
Harris is the outlier. Signing day surprises have become more rare by the year, and even when they do happen - especially players who come out of nowhere - it feels like they fizzle out more often than not.
Missouri might have found another outlier in the 2022 class. The Tigers landed a commitment from previously unranked Carmycah Glass (now considered to be a 3-star by Rivals) the week of signing day. Glass’ only other reported offers came from the likes of Houston Baptist, Lamar, McNeese State and New Mexico. No disrespect to those programs, but they’re not exactly a who’s who of blue blood football schools.
And then, suddenly, Glass became a prime target at an SEC school. Mizzou kept its interest in the Louisiana All-State linebacker quiet publicly until the final week of official visits. That’s when Glass visited campus and received his offer. He committed on the spot.
Don’t let the surprise recruitment fool you. Glass can play. He finished his senior season with more than 108 tackles for one of the top teams in Louisiana’s biggest classification. He earned first-team and defensive MVP honors in his district and was an All-State selection. In other words, he did just about everything he could on the field to earn an offer from bigger schools. For whatever reason, those offers just never seemed to come his way.
Eli Drinkwitz explained recently to Rivals how his staff came across Glass’ tape, and why he was deserving of the late offer.
National Signing Day Show— Rivals (@Rivals) February 9, 2022
Mizzou coach @CoachDrinkwitz joins @Rivals_Clint to talk about how the the late addition of LB Carmycah Glass and much more.
Watch their full conversation --> https://t.co/1rrXOTkDYI pic.twitter.com/4ZXKXGiMKL
“Ryan Trichel, our director of player personnel, is from Louisiana and he’s always recruited that area really hard,” Drinkwitz told Rivals.com. “He had been keeping an eye on him. When he got this job, we started watching him... When we hired Blake Baker from LSU, we started asking around and everyone was shocked he didn’t have more (offers). He’s 6-foot-4, every bit of 212... When you watch his tape, man, it’s really exciting.”
Where he fits: Glass played the MIKE linebacker spot in high school, but his athleticism probably lends itself better to transitioning to an outside linebacker position until he’s able to add some more bulk to his frame. He’s listed at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, but Drinkwitz said he might have a added a couple more pounds since the end of the season. It shouldn’t be too difficult for him to get up to 220-225 pounds by the time he sees the field for Mizzou.
The Tigers are suddenly pretty deep at linebacker. Chad Bailey is the returning starter with Florida transfer Ty’Ron Hopper likely playing next to Bailey in the Tigers’ base 4-2-5 defense. It’s hard to know exactly where Devin Nicholson and Charles Hicks fit into the mix, but those two could serve as the primary backups at linebacker this season with Will Norris, Zachary Lovett and Dameon Wilson as the wild card options.
Glass joins Xavier Simmons as the Tigers’ freshman additions to the position this season. Both are long and rangy linebackers with the ability to play sideline-to-sideline, but both are probably best served by sitting for a year or two before seeing significant playing time.
When he’ll play: Glass’ athleticism could help him see the field on special teams sooner rather than later. He was a standout in such situations in high school with blocked field goals. He also had highlights on his Hudl film from his kickoff coverage. So, special teams is likely where he’ll make his earliest impact.
When will he see the field defensively? That’s a little messier. We really have no knowledge of where Norris, Lovett, Wilson or Hicks fit into the team’s plans. Have they soured on them, or did they just not see the field because they’re young and they had better options in Bailey and Blaze Alldredge? It’s hard to say. Simmons and Glass both fit a similar role, so it could be an internal competition between the two to see who replaces Hopper as the sideline-to-sideline linebacker.
What it all means: Missouri suddenly has a “type” at linebacker. Alldredge filled that “viking” role last year as a linebacker who basically blitzed on every play. He was excellent when he was playing downhill and less excellent when he was moving backward. Hopper, Simmons and Glass are all more athletic than Alldredge, but they fill a similar role.
Alldredge was listed at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds. Hopper is listed at 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, Simmons is 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and Glass is 6-foot-4, 210 pounds.
If you’re wondering if it’s rare to have three linebackers added in one offseason who each stand at least 6-foot-2, the answer is a resounding yes. The Tigers have been adding length at cornerback over the last few years. The staff appears to be looking for a specific type of linebacker, too, and Glass fits their new criteria to perfection.