Missouri FB: Tigers' Breakout Produces Strong Recruiting Class
National Signing Day is always a day where coaches and fans alike are filled with hope and optimism about their team's future.
Missouri is no different.
Coming off the first 12-win season in school history, the Tigers compiled what is widely accepted as Gary Pinkel's finest recruiting class. This includes a five-star recruit, two four-stars, as well as other two- and three-stars.
This class reflects how success can help recruiting and build a program. In 2004, Mizzou's recruiting class included 16 two-star players. This 2008 class had four.
Here are some of the bigger names Missouri landed..
Gabbert is a pro-style quarterback from Ballwin, MO. The first five-star recruit out of St. Louis, and the first to sign with Missouri. He originally committed to Nebraska, but switched to Mizzou in November. He's rated the number 14 player in the country per rivals.com.
(I will add on a sidenote, that I played against him as a cornerback when he was a sophomore in a seven on seven game, and he never once threw the ball to my side of the field.)
A monster tight end from Smithville, MO, Jones will try to follow in the footsteps of All-American Martin Rucker. He got offers from many of the "traditional powers," but stayed true to his home state school.
In fact, Jones did as much recruiting as some of the coaches. Mizzou may not have landed Gabbert, or a few other Tigers for that matter, without Jones' recruiting efforts. (Four stars)
An absolute beast OL from Harlan, Iowa originally committed to Nebraska, this 6'6'' 302 pounder will give his quarterback plenty of time in the pocket.
He also has excellent athleticism for someone his size as he stars on his school's basketball team, and is the No. 1 player in Iowa per rivals.com. (Four stars)
Other notable signees include DB Zaviar Gooden (cousin of NBA star Drew Gooden), DB Kenji Jackson, RB Drew Temple (brother of former Mizzou RB Tony Temple), and WR Wes Kemp.
The Tigers also gained RB Munir Prince, who will tranfer from Notre Dame.
Gabbert will very possibly redshirt and take a year to learn the spread offense under Chase Daniel. The only known 2008 recruit who may see significant time this coming season is Andrew Jones. Jones has said he hopes to play on special teams as well as the occasional snap at tight end.
The 26th best recruiting class in the country will try to help the Tigers take those finals steps towards a Big XII or National Championship.
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