It feels like much longer than three years ago that the Missouri Tigers were sitting atop the SEC East for the second consecutive season- riding a wave of positive momentum that made them one of the bigger storylines in the SEC. Since winning the Citrus Bowl and notching a second consecutive 11-win season, it’s no secret that Mizzou fans have been thirsting for anything positive surrounding their football program.
From back-to-back losing seasons, on-campus protests and its winningest head football coach of all time retiring, Mizzou has struggled finding an identity under second-year head football coach Barry Odom, who went 4-8 during his first campaign.
The lifeblood of any college football program is, undoubtedly, recruiting, and with two losing seasons in the rear view, Odom had not exactly set the world on fire in that department either. As of this past Thursday, Missouri only had 5 players committed to be a part of its 2018 class, which is certainly an immeasurably important class for Odom and his staff.
This past weekend, Missouri held it’s Night at the Zou event which featured high-profile recruits from across the country, and Odom and his staff were able to double their current commitment number after landing five key recruits for the 2018 class. It’s worth noting that three of the commits came from the state of Texas, a state that had been so flirtatious for the Tigers throughout Gary Pinkel’s tenure, but had been all but ignored since Missouri joined the SEC back in 2011. Obviously, the state of Missouri was a huge emphasis in recruiting this year, and while Mizzou waits on some of the more high-profile in-state recruits to make their decisions, you can see a lot of positive momentum being built in states like Texas and Alabama.
Click on prospects link to view highlight videos
Cameron Wilkins 3 Star 6’1 235 lbs linebacker
Chad Bailey 4 Star 6’0 230 lbs linebacker
Kam Scott 3 Star 6’2 160 lbs Wide Receiver
Cam Taylor 3 Star 6’0 196 lbs Athlete
Vincent Gray 3 Star 6’2 180 lbs Cornerback
What it all means
The staff is proving they are able to attract quality athletes to Missouri despite a couple down years and coaching overhaul. Should Missouri return to respectability in 2017, you could certainly see a snowball effect as many of the top in-state recruits have taken notice of these recent commitments. It’s more than a welcomed sight to see Missouri back recruiting Texas where it has had so much success in the past taking players like Sean Weatherspoon, Danario Alexander, Henry Josey and countless others and developing them into stars. Undoubtedly, the Missouri kids are and should be high priorities, but making in-roads in states like Alabama is never a bad thing either. With this latest string of commitments, coach Odom is showing that the Mizzou brand is still very much alive on a national level. Mizzou should have one of the more lethal offenses in the country in 2017 and a strong start to the season and a return to respectability would go a long way towards showing that Barry Odom is, in fact, the right coach to guide Missouri into the future.