After their highly successful 2007 football season, the Missouri Tigers capitalized on their success and brought in the best recruiting class they've ever gotten on campus in Columbia.
Highlights included in-state QB Blaine Gabbert, who some consider the best overall QB prospect in the country, and Dan Hoch, the top prep player in Iowa, who will have a chance to get time on the offensive line as a true freshman.
With monster expectations for the 2008 football season, and perhaps the most talented in-state group in recent memory, the Tigers continued their success off the field and began the 2009 recruiting year with a bang.
About one-third of the way to signing day, Mizzou has signed seven potential recruits, with two signings coming in the last week after football camps in St. Louis and Kansas City.
Shelden Richardson heads the class of '09 thus far. There isn't a set position for Shelden at the collegiate level yet, but it's not because of a lack of talent. Richardson is 6'5'' and weighs over 280 pounds, yet he wowed fans by running a 4.6 in St. Louis last week. He is in Rivals.com's Top 100 Recruits, and he has the potential to play TE or DT in college.
QB Blaine Dalton is probably the second-most heralded name on the list. Dalton was on the Rivals.com Top 100 Recruits to Watch for 2009 before the actual list was published, but after his high school team suffered a disappointing loss in the state playoffs during his junior campaign, his stock dropped, leaving him off Rivals.com's Top 250.
His smaller stature has caused some scouts to question his ability, but this Chase Daniel-clone is no slouch. With a good senior year, he could put his name back in the Top 250. He's got a great arm, good scrambling ability, and supreme poise. He'll definitely give Blaine Gabbert some stiff competition once he arrives on campus.
Other recruits include offensive lineman Jack Meiners and Darris Ford, although Ford might play on the defensive side of the ball. Athlete T.J. Moe, out of the St. Louis area, projects as a safety, and joined Ford as the most recent commits.
LB Andrew Wilson and WR Kerwin Stricker round out the class thus far, and although they are less known, both have great size and numbers to project to the college game.
I expect the next recruit to commit to be Tyler Evans, another Missouri player. He's got great size, and for a while it looked possible that he'd receive an offer from Oklahoma.
There are a few big names that could commit by the halfway point at summer's end. The biggest name on that list is probably Ronnie Wingo.
Wingo is an athlete from SLUH in St. Louis, and he's another name off Rivals.com's Top 100. He'd be a great addition to the Tigers regardless of what position he ends up playing, and he'd be another sign that Gary Pinkel is closing the borders to Missouri recruiting.