On the heels of an embarrassing showing in the Big 12 Championship game, Missouri football finished the weekend with a very encouraging step towards the future. They received some big news from the West, with the promise of more good news to come.
On Sunday evening, four-star linebacker Joshua Tatum, a former University of Southern California signee, gave his verbal commitment to the University of Missouri. With a LB corps that could certainly use some work (as evidenced by the horrendous performance by the defense this season), Tatum figures to get instant playing time with the possibility of making a big impact.
But that's not where the good news ends for the Tigers.
"I'm bringing some guys with me," Tatum claimed.
One of those "guys" figures to be teammate Jarrell Harrison, a safety from the City College of San Francisco. Harrison visited Missouri with Tatum in October and has actually had Missouri on the top of his list for quite some time. His reviews of Mizzou were actually higher than Tatum's.
As stated in my previous article, I thought that Harrison was much more of a Mizzou lean than Tatum. He's currently deciding between NC State and the Tigers, and a verbal is expected in the next couple of weeks.
Another huge chip in this equation is USC wide receiver Vidal Hazelton. Hazelton, who has one year of eligibility left, is primarily looking at Texas Tech and Missouri. He says he's very high on the Tigers, and if Tatum has anything to say about it, his good friend and former teammate will end up in the black and gold.
Hazelton would be an absolute monster of a transfer for Missouri. He was actually USC's leading receiver in 2007 with 50 receptions, 504 yards, and four touchdowns. As a recruit out of high school in 2006, he was the second ranked WR recruit, and seventh in the nation overall. To be blunt, the guy's a gamebreaker.
Although the three of these players have only five years of eligibility between them, they would make the rebuilding process much easier after losing the most talented senior class in Missouri history.
Keep your heads up, Tigers fans! The Alamo Bowl awaits us, and the future looks pretty bright. This Western trio could certainly make a difference on the field in 2009.