Official visits are one of the biggest parts of recruiting. But although the University of Missouri Tigers came out of their two visit weekends without a brand new commitment, Mizzou came out of their officials with some big news.
Sheldon Richardson, the No. 4-ranked prospect in the whole country, was Missouri's first commitment toward its 2009 class. Richardson is ranked as an athlete, but will play tight end and defensive end in college.
However, he had been wavering as of late to his commitment to Missouri. Richardson was rumored to have had interest in Miami, Minnesota, and Florida, and had been quoted in the media as insulting Mizzou's fan base and being a little too "open" for the Tigers' taste.
But after his official visit to Columbia this weekend, Richardson made one thing clear.
"I'm done with my recruiting," he said. "Put that out there. Sheldon Richardson is done with recruiting."
It is TREMENDOUS that Missouri finally got Big Sheldon to come out and say that, and he'll be their biggest signing (assuming he does indeed sign) in their history.
Juco saftey Jerrell Harrison actually verbally agreed to, and then signed his letter of intent to play at Missouri, and he'll join juco teammate Josh Tatum on campus in Columbia this spring to get starter with his new school early. Harrison can definitely come in early and compete for time in a weak secondary that will lose players to graduation and the NFL. (Harrison took his official in October.)
I personally don't think the Tigers have much of a chance at the number 60 overall player in the country, but East St. Louis wide receiver Terry Hawthorne does clearly have some interest in Mizzou. He took his official visit this weekend and said his visit was "awesome". If Missouri could land him, he could definitely be a Jeremy Maclin type of playmaker on either side of the ball.
Missouri is probably going to sign one more wide receiver in this class, and it could be either Cobi Hamilton or Ja-Mes Logan, both of whom were in town this weekend. Hamilton has been considered an Arkansas lead for a long time, and still has Missouri behind the Razorbacks and the OSU Cowboys. But Hamilton said the visit "definitely made up some ground."
Logan could be more of a realistic target for Mizzou. His recruitment has been...well...weird. There's no other way to put it. For weeks he had schools like Florida on top of his list, despite not having an offer from them. But he seems to have come to grips with reality, and has Ole Miss and Missouri at the top of his list now. He'll make a trip to Oxford in January. At this point, I consider him an Ole Miss lean.
Another potential commitment that you might see soon for Missouri is Texas playmaker Kendial Lawrence. Lawrence has had Mizzou near the top of his list for a while, and left Columbia today. I wouldn't be surprised if Kendial was the next potential to give his verbal in favor of the Tigers.