Missouri football’s latest verbal commitment — Amite (La.) High strong safety/linebacker Tyrus Wheat, the third player to pledge for the Tigers on Wednesday — profiles as a classic Mizzou recruit.
He’s listed as a two-star prospect by Rivals at outside linebacker with offers from Texas State and Tulane.
During Gary Pinkel’s tenure as MU rose to prominence in the Big 12 and later the SEC — appearing in back-to-back SEC Championship Games in 2013 and 2014 — the team’s recruiting m.o. was to buy early on underrecruited and under-the-radar prospects with upside.
Wheat, who fits the mold from that perspective of former defensive end Michael Sam or sophomore wide receiver Dimetrios Mason, announced his decision via Twitter.
He was a linchpin for Amite’s defense last season, helping the Warriors reach the Louisiana Class 3A state championship game, and is being recruited for a hybrid safety/linebacker role.
Wheat (6-2, 194) is listed as a three-star prospect by 247 Sports, which pegs him as the No. 76 player in Louisiana and No. 110 safety in the country. He’s a willing tackler with good closing speed and was often used off the edge in pass-rush situations during his junior season.
Historically, Louisiana hasn’t been fertile recruiting ground for Missouri, which signed only two players — L’Damian Washintgon (2009) and Gerrand Johnson (2011) — before 2015 during the Rivals era (2002).
The Tigers inked defensive lineman Tyrell Jacobs two years ago and signed three players from Louisiana — defensive tackle Caleb Sampson, cornerback Adam Sparks and defensive end Chris Turner — in February.
Wheat is the eighth player to commit to MU since last Friday. He joins a quintet from the weekend along with Sidney Lanier High linebacker La’Dedric Jackson from Montgomery, Ala., and Coppell (Texas) High offensive tackle Mike Ruth.