Missouri has seen three offensive lineman leave the football team since the beginning of 2016. First, it was sophomore Michael Fairchild in January. Then Andy Bauer retired shortly after the start of spring practice. Yesterday it was announced that senior Malik Cuellar had decided to quit football. Junior Nate Crawford has been battling back spasms as well, Clay Rhodes is still absent from practice, and defensive tackle Tyrell Jacobs has at least temporarily moved to offense. Among others, walk-on Adam Roland, from Oakville high school in St. Louis, seems to be getting some reps with the scholarship players.
By now it's evident Missouri is incredibly thin on the offensive line. Missouri will be bringing in two freshman lineman this summer (Tre'Vour Simms and Trystan Castillo), but starting as a true freshman on the line is rare -- Evan Boehm was the only player to do it in Gary Pinkel's 15 years in Columbia.
Naturally this raises the question of whether the staff will (or can) look for immediate help at the position. During Tuesday's post-practice media scrum, Odom said, "We're always going to be recruiting. That never stops. Yes, we're recruiting for next year and two years down the road but we're also recruiting for September 3rd."
This late in the recruiting cycle, the options are slim and hard to sift through. With spring break coming up next week, the staff will have a chance to evaluate some new targets. Here are some of the names we think they could be looking at. (Note: none of the players below currently hold Mizzou offers)
Lanard Bonner is a JUCO target the staff had on their radar before National Signing Day. He tells us they've been in touch recently. The 6'5, 330-pound guard plays for Highland Community College in Kansas. 247Sports' predictions have him headed to Arkansas State, but the Glen Elarbee connection and the appeal of the SEC play could sway him.
Jovan Pruitt is a 6'6, 335-pound guard originally from Dallas who committed to Arkansas in 2014 but couldn't make grades and ended up at Trinity Valley C.C. Flipping him from Bret Bielema may seem like a tall task, but immediate playing time could be alluring. Josh Heupel and Glen Elarbee follow him on twitter.
Natrell Curtis is a 6'3, 325-pound guard from Phoenix who originally committed to Oklahoma but ended up at Pima C.C. in Tuscon. He was originally a U.S Army All-American with offers from Nebraska, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Missouri has already offered his teammate, Jordan Agasiva, a 2017 target. Glen Elarbee had him on his radar at one point.
Da’Keavis Wilmore is a 6'4, 350-pound offensive guard from Nassau C.C. in New York. He had offers from Akron and Illinois. Missouri has already offered his teammate Badara Traore, a 2017 target. According to this Scout.com article he would be a mammoth addition:
Evaluation: Wilmore moves very well for an interior offensive line prospect who is 350 pounds. As you can imagine he is hard to move. Those two things make him a player who can come in and compete at a very high college level. Plays in a very up tempo offense and does not seem to struggle at all with keeping up with a fast pace, which should make him an attractive option for high octane college attacks.
Gewhite Stallworth is a 6'7, 345-pound tackle at Navarro College in Texas. Per his twitter bio he is a December grad with three years to play three. Josh Heupel, Joe Jon Finley, Glen Elarbee, DeMontie Cross all appeared to have him on their radar in the past.
Malik Ellis is a 6'6, 280-pound tackle playing at Cisco College in Texas. Josh Heupel, Cornell Ford, Joe Jon Finley, Glen Elarbee all seem to have checked him out and could re-evaluate him in the coming months.
That's just a few potential recruits who could end up with offers in the next few weeks. We'll endeavor to stay up to date with the latest updates if Missouri decides to make a late addition to the 2016 recruiting class.