Less than 48 hours after they captured a huge win over Colorado on the road, head coach Gary Pinkel and the Missouri Tigers scored another victory—this time on the recruiting trail.
If the reports hold true, Ealy would be MU's seventh defensive prospect of the 2010 class and the 15th member overall.
As per NCAA rules, verbal commitments are non-binding, meaning Ealy is free to change his mind until National Signing Day on Feb. 3.
The 6'5", 230-pound Ealy, who doubles as a basketball star (look for the alley-oop) at New Madrid County Central High School, is rated by Rivals.com as the third-best player in the state , as well as the nation's No. 11 weakside defensive end .
According to Rivals.com, Wentzville offensive lineman Nick Demien , who committed to Missouri in August, is the No. 1-rated player in Missouri, followed by Liberty wide receiver Marcus Lucas , who currently has the Tigers at the top of his crowded list of potential suitors.
Though recruiting services have been blamed for excessively glorifying the college football recruiting process with their seemingly unreliable rating process, Ealy—who was bestowed with four stars by at least one service—looks to be quite the land for Missouri.
In addition to the Tigers, Ealy was coveted by rivals Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska, as well as several SEC schools, including Mississippi, Auburn, and Arkansas.
Assuming he fulfills projections as a defensive end at the college level, Ealy will join a talented rotation at the position at Missouri. Backed by a corps of promising freshmen that includes 2009 class members Michael Sam and Brayden Burnett , Missouri's current group of defensive ends is led by starters Jacquies Smith , a sophomore, and red-shirt freshman Aldon Smith , who is just four sacks shy of surpassing Justin Smith (11) to become MU's single-season record-holder.
Photo credit: David Jenkins/Sikeston Standard Democrat