Phil Pressey Impressed With Missouri Football, Decides To Join Tigers Basketball

Peter FleischerSenior Writer ISeptember 15, 2009

The University of Missouri is hardly known for its stout football tradition.

In fact, the Tigers, still confused about whether they're in rebuilding or reloading stage, almost lost to the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday.

However, with more than 65,000 strong coming out for the team's first home football game of the season, Missouri fans might have helped their school out in more ways than one.

The crowd undoubtedly helped the Tigers come back from 14-point third-quarter deficit, but they left enough of an impression on four-star 2010 basketball recruit Phil Pressey that he committed to Missouri before leaving his unofficial visit.

One of the factors in his decision was his interactions with the students and atmosphere during the football game.

Sure, it's expected that Pressey enjoyed the facilities, scrimmaging with the Tiger players, and he even has a family connection on the staff (Mike Anderson was a teammate of Pressey's father at Tulsa).

But Pressey listed his time in the student section and in "Tigerwalk," a Mizzou tradition when fans walk the team from the practice facility to the stadium hours before the game, as a reason for his signing.

The Mizzou campus is truly buzzing over Pressey, with people's Facebook statuses welcoming "Mighty Mouse" to the Tiger family, and pegging him as Missouri's next big star.

Not since the golden years of the Quin Snyder era has MU given a care about a recruit that has committed to play for the basketball team, yet Pressey is bringing back a blast from the past.

Gary Pinkel and Mike Anderson have both built programs basically from the ground up, and now it appears they are working together.

Pressey, the No. 54 overall recruit for 2010, is the type of player that can help bring Mizzou back to perennial contention.

The Pressey buzz is larger than any other this week. The football team will almost certainly beat Furman in Columbia on Saturday, in what form or fashion that happens remains to be seen.

But the impact of Pressey, who also provides lure to future players who are thinking about signing with Mizzou, leaves a crater with it's impact in the minds of MU sports fans who are looking for good news.