In this interesting bye week, with a game last Friday and a game next Thursday, we've got a little bit of time to look toward the future for a minute before thinking about the showdown against Nebraska. The 2010 recruiting class for the Tigers has about 15 commits, with around six to eight spots remaining.
This Tiger class is shaping up to be pretty good. Very good in fact. Although it might not stack up to other schools in the Rivals star system, Gary Pinkel and Company have shown an ability to find players that they believe will make an impact regardless of stars.
Missouri has landed big in and out of state guys that they've marked as priority, and have some exciting potential commitments on the horizon if they continue to make a good impression.
So who are some guys that the Tigers have already received verbals from that might be able to help Mizzou in the near future? Some players that might become household names for fans in Columbia?
Vincent, listed as a big defensive end at 6'3", 267 lbs, is actually planning the switch to defensive tackle upon his arrival in Columbia in January. Vincent is enrolling early in effort to get into the weight room and make an immediate impact next fall.
Vincent is leading an undefeated Olathe North team that has a shown to have a stout defense. Young Lucas has gotten into the backfield to attack the quarterback and stop the run, and looks to transition pretty well to the next level.
He's got a decent sized frame for college ball and his commitment to come in early at Mizzou shows a determination that will only give him an edge once he hits the field.
With 2009 stud Sheldon Richardson still in California attempting to become eligible at junior college, Mizzou is a little weak on the interior of their defensive line. Jaron Baston is a senior, and Dominique Hamilton and Terrell Resonno are average but not great players yet at tackle.
Lucas Vincent could definitely come in and play early if he makes a good impression in spring ball and puts on the necessary weight to play on the inside.
Demien tore his ACL early this year before his season actually started, and will probably miss his senior season. However, that doesn't take away from the true monster that he is and might be at the next level.
Demien has great size (6'6" 300 lbs), hands and technique, making him the top recruit in the state of Missouri and the 68th recruit in the country according to Rivals. He paved the way for former four-star running back Montee Ball at Timberland High in Missouri, and should be healthy by the time he hits campus at Mizzou.
A dominant run-blocker but underrated pass blocker with good speed as well, Demien might see a red-shirt next fall at Mizzou because of impressive depth at offensive line. Starters Dan Hoch and Elvis Fisher will be juniors at tackle, Jack Meiners will be a sophomore and Justin Britt, who coaches have raved about, will probably keep his red-shirt intact and have freshman eligibility next season.
But the potential that Demien has coming out of high school trumps the skill level seen from any of those guys. Even if he does red-shirt, count on him playing the moment he is eligible, even if he takes a spot from an older player.
Demien has the potential to morph into a three year starter and NFL prospect before his time in Columbia is over.
The dismissal of freshman Blaine Dalton this fall makes the signing of Elite 11 prospect James Franklin an even bigger deal at Mizzou. Franklin wowed scouts with his arm and legs at the quarterback camp this summer, and has looked great this fall, leading his Lake Dallas team to a perfect 5-0 start.
Franklin, who stands at 6'2", 220, might remind some of Brad Smith because of his impressive speed, but those who have watched him play are more impressed with his pocket passing abilities. He's got an above average arm and good accuracy, only throw two interceptions as a senior.
Franklin has the chance to come in and back up Blaine Gabbert immediately, especially since he is enrolling early in January. 2009 signee Ashton Glaser has not impressed coaches very much yet, and Jimmy Costello is a former walk-on with limited ability. If Franklin can make a smooth-ish adjustment to the Division I game, he definitely could see the field early.
Franklin is also an important recruit who can help Mizzou because of the baggage he might bring. Best friend and teammate Daryl Williams is a three-star offensive tackle with an impressive offer list that includes Oklahoma and Miami. He has looked hard at Mizzou for a long time, but is still due to take officials to the Sooners and possibly Kansas. If Franklin can lure in his big buddy, that'd make his signing all the better.