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Recruiting Reset: Mizzou sticks to its ‘type’ with linebacker commit Brian Huff

How will 4-star linebacker Brian Huff fit into the Tigers’ defensive plans?

Missouri is really starting to fall for a “type” at linebacker. This is not a bad thing. They seem to prefer linebackers with the ability to bring some value as blitzers on third downs, but who also have the necessary size and length to hold up against the run.

The latest addition to the mix is 4-star Brian Huff. The Jonesboro, Arkansas native has taken multiple visits to Missouri over the past couple seasons, ultimately committing to the Tigers over reported offers from UCF, Houston, K-State, LSU and Notre Dame, among others.

Huff would be the first 4-star linebacker to sign with the Tigers since Chad Bailey (2018), according to Rivals. His measurables certainly fit into what Mizzou’s staff is looking for at the linebacker position, listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds.

Missouri’s other linebacker commits over the past two classes:

  • Xavier Simmons - 6-foot-3, 215 pounds
  • Carmycah Glass - 6-foot-4, 210 pounds
  • Triston Newson - 6-foot-2, 225 pounds
  • Brayshawn Littlejohn - 6-foot-2, 222 pounds

Noticing a trend? This is something that began prior to defensive coordinator Blake Baker, but it’s something that has only accelerated under his leadership.

Where he fits: It’s not hard to find the fit for Huff in Missouri’s defense. At his current size, he’s a perfect match for how the Tigers used Ty’Ron Hopper last season. If Huff continues to add on weight, he could eventually fit into the middle of Missouri’s defense as the MIKE linebacker — a role currently filled by Chad Bailey.

Either way, Huff is a prototypical fit for Missouri’s defense. He shows the ability on film to filter through would-be blockers to get to the ball-carrier, and he’s also a more than capable blitzer. It’s worth noting he was a core special teams player for his high school team, coming up big on both the return unit and blocking at least one field goal attempt.

When he’ll play: Getting on the field early as a linebacker in the SEC is incredibly rare. That said, there could be an opening sooner rather than later. Bailey and Hopper should both be gone by the time Huff arrives on campus. That leaves behind a whole heck of a lot of playing time. Could Huff earn his way into the 2-deep? Possibly. Working his way into a core special teamer might be his way to get on the travel roster right away, though.

What it all means: The Tigers found another long and rangy linebacker to fit into their plans for the present and the future. Baker likes to disguise his blitz packages, and he wants movable pieces all around the defense in order to make it difficult for opposing offenses to see what’s coming. Players like Huff make that possible.

After a slow start, it appears the Tigers are starting to build some momentum for their 2024 recruiting class. We’ll be anxiously awaiting who the next player will be to join Huff on Missouri’s commitment list.