To say that Missouri has arrived on the college football scene and not talk about the progress they've made on the recruiting front would be like making a burger without the patty. You're leaving out a whole part of what makes for greatness.
Along with the television attention, the draft picks, and the ticket sales, the Missouri Tigers have also seen huge dividends on the recruiting trail. They've actually had calls from recruits asking for a visit or informing them of interest. Mizzou now has access to top-notch players that before would have never considered playing ball in Columbia.
With 15 players already signed for their 2009 class, Missouri will probably take 10-11 more players at the most. Yet they still have offers out to some of the top unsigned talent across the country. Here are the 10 players that would best fill out Missouri's class in a perfect world.
Yes, he's actually already a Missouri commit, and has been for over a year, but "Big Sheldon" has soared up many boards after some monster camps this summer, in which he displayed his 4.6 speed to go along with his 300-pound frame.
He is the No. 22 overall prospect in the country (Rivals.com), and would be the best defensive playmaker Missouri has ever signed. But recent interviews have Richardson claiming that he'll go on visits to Miami U and OU. He claims he'll probably still be a Tiger, but I won't be sure until he physically signs. He's crucial to get to Columbia.
Ronnie is actually the top-ranked recruit in Missouri, even though he has four stars to Sheldon's five. He's a world class sprinter, yet has amazing size at 6'3", 215 lbs. It's unknown where he'll play, but rest assured that Gary Pinkel will give him a spot at a position he wants.
Wingo has narrowed his list to five, with Missouri and Illinois leading the way, and Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Alabama trailing narrowly. At one point after a visit to Columbia, Wingo said that he was "90 percent committed", but this race probably won't be over until he takes all five of his officials.
It's not essential, but it would be a huge pickup to land him.
Boyd is actually ranked higher then Jeremy Maclin was out of high school, which would make him the highest WR ever to be signed by Missouri. His name is all over the top players charts, as the second best deep threat, fourth best after the catch, third best athlete, and fourth best wide receiver overall.
He is someone that contacted Mizzou because of interest, and after cutting them from his list of five, he added them back on after the Illinois game. Because of poor starts by Clemson, UNC, and Auburn's offense, Missouri and Oregon might actually be in the lead at this moment.
Although he has mentioned he might want to stay close to home, Missouri would gain a HUGE advantage if they signed his teammate Willie Kennedy.
Williams has the size and speed suited for the college game right now, but he has favored LSU throughout the recruiting process. He's also interested in Texas Tech and Nebraska, along with the Tigers. If he actually comes into town for an official visit like he has claimed he would like to, then the Tigers have to feel decent about their chances.
Williams would be a great addition to a young LB corps and would also definitely have the opportunity for immediate playing time. Missouri has had success in Texas in the past, so hopefully that will help them with Williams.
Lowe is an Oklahoma safety best known for his ballhawking skills and is another player that has been on and off Missouri's radar. He'll probably end up in the Big 12, and at this point it looks that Oklahoma State and Texas are the leaders.
Missouri has been mentioned a lot by Lowe, especially as of late. He says he loves watching Mizzou safety William Moore, and a chance to see action early would certainly be his to win. If the Tigers can get Lowe in for a visit and let him see Willy Mo in person, they might just snag this dynamic safety.
Davis is a bigger running back (6'1", 209) that is rated as the third best downhill runner in this year's class. If Missouri isn't at the top of his list, they're close to it. Davis will be in Columbia next weekend for the game against Buffalo, and although he has claimed he will see all five of his visits, an early commitment isn't out of the question.
Just like Davis, Blake is considered a possible Tiger lean. Although he has received many offers and interest nationwide, Blake's size and speed in the Missouri offense has both parties very interested. He has admitted his admiration for Jeremy Maclin, like many other Tiger recruits, and there's no wondering why he would want to play in the Mizzou offense.
At this point Blake will probably stay in the Big 12. Colorado might be the Tiger's biggest competition for Blake's signing, so a big win against the Buffs in Columbia might seal the deal for this young Texas stud.
Allen might not be as well known as others on this list, but his dynamic playmaking ability has garnered the interest of the Tigers. A possible dual-sport athlete (football and basketball), Allen has the speed and hands to play corner very well.
As the top unsigned, in-state prospect other then Ronnie Wingo, Allen (No. 14 by Rivals.com) will start to receive more interest as the season goes on. It's been said that if he chooses to play football in college, he'll definitely choose Missouri, so the Tigers have got to feel good about their chances.
Gordon has already named Missouri has his favorite, and he says that the more he sees, the more he likes. And why wouldn't he? His repertoire compares to Danario Alexander, but Gordon comes out of high school much more heralded.
Missouri staffers always say that you can't have enough weapons in the spread offense, and Gordon might have the best size of any potential wide receiver signing that the Tigers can get. He would make a great target for any future Tiger quarterback.
10) Willie Kennedy
The fact that the Tigers need a safety out of this class is one thing, but the fact that Kennedy could come in a package with Jheranie Boyd is an even bigger thing. Kennedy is a good player in his own right: a 5'11", 180-lb. safety with very big hitting ability.
I'm not going to lie: I'd be most excited to see Kennedy sign with Missouri because of the Boyd factor, but if we got Kennedy and missed out on Boyd, it wouldn't be a bad deal for the Tigers. He's only got a few Division I offers, so Missouri has to feel all right about their chances of getting him on campus.