Missouri Tigers Not Likely To Fill Opening Created by Decommitment

Ryan FallerAnalyst IJanuary 29, 2010

I mentioned in a recent article that the Missouri Tigers' 2010 recruiting class had reached its maximum capacity of 24 members.

As it turns out, 23 may end up being the more accurate number.

By now, I'm sure any Missouri fan is fully aware of the switcheroo made by cornerback prospect Dexter McDonald , who on Thursday decommitted from the Tigers in favor of the Kansas Jayhawks.

McDonald's decision came as a shock to many, but with only five days remaining until National Signing Day, Missouri is left with its hands somewhat tied—although it appears doing nothing may be the preferred course of action for the Tigers, anyhow.

Per NCAA rules , Missouri reserves the right to make a last-ditch effort for players, both committed and undecided, between now and Monday (Feb. 1), and several names have been floated out there in the aftermath of McDonald's decommitment.

However, seeing that the Tigers, even without McDonald, are still near their limit in terms of available scholarships, it's unlikely the class will return to 24 members.

In other words, from the reports I've read, don't expect anyone to take McDonald's spot—which means the Tigers will sit on the available scholarship for next year's class.

(For more information, visit MU Rivals.com affiliate Power Mizzou . They have a wealth of info and do a tremendous job covering recruiting. Because some of the insider stuff is discussed in private forums, I am obligated to direct you to their site, rather than linking to it here. Do yourself a favor and at least sign up for a free seven-day trial.)

In case you're wondering why MU would even flirt with the possibility of overextending itself, it's a common practice among many coaching staffs in college football to compensate for a number of players either failing to qualify academically or transferring to another program by offering more recruits than what they can essentially afford.

Thanks to a flurry of activity in mid-December that resulted in a handful of recruits giving their verbal pledges, including that of McDonald, Missouri put a lid on this year's class before the Christmas holiday even got under way.

The 6'2", 180-pound McDonald attended Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, where he was recruited by several programs that included Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and Iowa. He initially committed to Illinois in June but began to waver on his pledge when the Illini stumbled to a 3-9 record this past season.

After a visit to Columbia on Dec. 18, McDonald officially announced that he had switched allegiances , and he became the 24th member of MU's 2010 class. But, apparently, McDonald saw something in Kansas that was too good to pass up.

Ranked as the No. 12 player in the state by Rivals.com, McDonald is one of the finer recruits in new KU Head Coach Turner Gill's first class. For what it's worth, Gill's running backs coach is Reggie Mitchell, who previously recruited McDonald as the assistant head coach at Illinois.





In an exciting announcement, Rivals.com has chosen Columbia, Mo., as one of the sites for its 2010 Five Star Academy , which is held annually for high school juniors and their parents, as well as coaches from around the country. Designed to streamline the intricacies of the recruiting process, the academy will be held at the University of Missouri on March 27.


As of Friday evening, Missouri's 2010 recruiting class ranks No. 17 nationally , according to Rivals.com. That's down three spots from No. 14 as recently as a few days ago, presumably because McDonald's decommitment.

Now that MU's class is officially set, albeit for the second time, here's a look at the list of players who will be signing letters of intent with the Tigers come Wednesday. Please note that safety Kenronte Walker, quarterbacks Tyler Gabbert and James Franklin , and tight end Eric Waters have already signed and are currently enrolled in school.