Campus Corner

The Star's blog on college sports, featuring Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri

Missouri hauls in big crop of wide receivers as football signings come in

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02/05/2014 11:59 AM

05/19/2014 1:49 PM

Missouri signed a deep class of wide receivers, which got even deeper after the Tigers flipped a player who had been committed to Louisville, when 23 players signed national letters of intent Wednesday. The first fax to reach the Missouri football office came from wide receiver Nate Brown at 6:42 a.m. Brown, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound wide receiver from North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Ga., is a four-star recruit, according to Rivals.com. The last letter the Tigers came from Lawrence Lee, a 5-11, 175-pound receiver from West Florida Tech in Pensacola, Fla., who some analysts rank even higher than Brown. “We actually have Lawrence Lee rated higher, but there’s an awful lot to like about (Brown),” ESPN.com senior writer Jeremy Crabtree said. “You look at the numbers he put up and the success he had a senior. I think he’s going to be able to step in and do some good things for the Tigers.” Missouri also managed to flip DeSean Blair (6-2, 185) from Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Fla., and signed Keyon Dilosa (6-3, 190) out of Round Rock (Texas) High School. Blair had been committed to Louisville. “These receivers have an opportunity to do some big things there,” Crabtree said. “There’s some really good skill players at that receiver spot coming in. … Some of these young receivers might be too good to keep off the field, especially with them formation-ing the way that they do.” The Tigers’ wide receiver haul also included Thomas Richard (6-0, 190) from Nashville’s Christ Presbyterian Academy, whose mother attended Missouri, and Dorial Green-Beckham’s younger brother, Darnell, who’s 6-5. Richard’s high school teammate, Paul Adams (6-6, 280), is among the recruits expected to make an impact on the offensive line. That group also includes DeSmet (St. Louis) senior Andy Bauer (6-3, 300), who is the No. 8 offensive guard and No. 137 overall prospect, according to Rivals.com. Of course, the Tigers also made a pretty strong haul for offensive linemen in Kansas City, including Lee’s Summit West senior Kevin Pendleton (6-3, 320) and Blue Valley West’s Mike Fairchild (6-5, 280), one of Missouri’s five early enrollees. “Andy Bauer gets all the attention at offensive tackle, but if you look at that group — Paul Adams, Kevin Pendleton, Sam Bailey, Michael Fairchild here at Blue Valley West — they’re all good players,” Crabtree said. Missouri had already flipped one recruit, Florence, Ala., defensive end Walter Brady (6-3, 255). He had been committed to Middle Tennessee State before switching Saturday to the Tigers. “He was Middle Tennessee’s top recruit and the kind of kid who would slip to a school like that in most situations,” Crabtree said. “You’ve got to credit Missouri for finding a guy like that and going after him.” Missouri also flipped Blair and added another defensive end who’d been committed elsewhere on signing day when Spencer Williams (6-4, 220) from First Coast High School in Jacksonville spurned Cincinnati in favor of the Tigers. Meanwhile, several schools were in hot pursuit of two Missouri commits, who opted not to flip at the last minute and stayed true to their verbal commitments. The Tigers held on to Tavon Ross (6-0, 200), a safety prospect from Cochran, Ga., who had visited Georgia and Miami (Fla.) in recent weeks. Missouri also fended off a late push by Florida to reel in West Florida Tech defensive end Rocel McWilliams (6-3, 245). Quarterback Marvin Zanders (6-2, 180) from Raines High School in Jacksonville was already in the fold, but Missouri added six more players from Florida. The Tigers only landed seven players from the Sunshine State from 2002 to 2013, so it’s a significant haul and demonstrates the effectiveness of the program’s new recruiting emphasis, which has shifted from Texas to the Southeast. “It’s ultra-competitive and quite cutthroat, but I like the move,” Crabtree said. “It’s where the talent’s at and it seems like Missouri has really embraced that SEC mentality. It’s paid off with a very good class for them.” On Wednesday, Missouri also landed two Florida running backs — Trevon Walters (5-10, 195) from Manatee High School in Bradenton and Ish Witter (5-8, 195) from Alonso High School in Tampa — in addition Blair, Williams, McWilliams and Lee.
Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
Logan Cheadle DB 5-10 165 Lee’s Summit West HS
Kenya Dennis DB 6-0 190 Hinds (Miss.) CC
Mike Fairchild OL 6-6 262 Blue Valley West HS
Brandon Lee LB 6-2 203 Lawrence Central HS (Indianapolis)
Marvin Zanders QB 6-1 175 Raines HS (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
Paul Adams OL 6-6 270 Christ Presbyterian Academy (Nashville, Tenn.)
Sam Bailey OL 6-5 245 Lamar (Mo.) HS
Andy Bauer OL 6-6 304 DeSmet HS (St. Louis)
DeSean Blair WR 6-2 185 Sandalwood HS (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Kendall Blanton TE 6-5 225 Blue Springs South HS
Walter Brady DE 6-4 225 Florence (Ala.) HS
Nate Brown WR 6-3 215 North Gwinnett HS (Suwanee, Ga.)
Keyon Dilosa WR 6-3 194 Round Rock (Texas) HS
Darnell Green-Beckham WR 6-5 175 Springfield Hillcrest HS
Grant Jones ATH 6-3 216 Columbia Hickman HS
Lawrence Lee WR 5-10 167 West Florida Tech (Pensacola, Fla.)
Rocel McWilliams DE 6-3 240 West Florida Tech (Pensacola, Fla.)
Kevin Pendleton OL 6-4 329 Lee’s Summit West HS
Thomas Richard WR 6-1 185 Christ Presbyterian Academy (Nashville, Tenn.)
Tavon Ross ATH 6-1 196 Bleckley County HS (Cochran, Ga.)
Finis Stribling IV DB 5-10 170 Independence HS (Thompson’s Station, Tenn.)
Greg Taylor DB 5-10 181 East St. Louis (Ill.) HS
Trevon Walters RB 5-10 189 Manatee HS (Bradenton, Fla.)
Spencer Williams DE 6-4 220 First Coast HS (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Thomas Wilson ATH 5-10 176 Buford (Ga.) HS
Raymond Wingo DB 6-0 165 St. Louis University HS
Roderick Winters LB 5-11 196 Bowie HS (Arlington, Texas)
Ish Witter RB 5-8 190 Alonso HS (Tampa, Fla.)

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