COLUMBIA — Missouri missed out on one running back back when Vianney senior Markel Smith reportedly gave his verbal pledge to Iowa, announcing his decision Monday on Twitter.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
However, Hutchinson Community College running back Chase Abbington reaffirmed his commitment to the Tigers, according to PowerMizzou.com recruiting editor Pete Scantlebury.
Smith, a three-star recruit who is ranked as the No. 6 recruit in Missouri by Rivals.com and as the No. 34 running back in the nation, originally committed to coach Gary Pinkel’s program, but he reopened his recruitment during the offseason.
Smith, who set a state high school record with 541 yards rushing Oct. 4 in a win against Washington (Mo.), told Rivals.com he chose the Hawkeyes because he likes the offense and the coaching staff.
Meanwhile, Abbington, who prepped at Fort Zumwalt South in suburban St. Louis, has spent the last year at a Kansas junior college.
Abbington, who is the first commit in Missouri’s class of 2015, leads the Blue Dragons in rushing yards (706) and rushing touchdowns (eight). He’s also caught 14 passes for 98 yards and two additional touchdowns.
He is expected to redshirt next season at Hutchinson as he continues to improve his academics.