For those that were very angry about this not being a thing last week, well, I was on vacation. We’re all allowed to take one, so I spent last Friday elsewhere.
But we’re back and have a lot to touch on. So here we go.
Hargrove stays home
Terrence Hargrove Jr., a 2019 wing from East St. Louis, Ill., committed to St. Louis on Sunday. The move made the 6-foot-5 wing the second player from the loaded Bradley Beal Elite team to commit elsewhere despite having a Missouri offer (see Okoro, Francis), but it’s a situation I’m going to be keeping an eye on anyway.
Hargrove told me in April that he planned to let the recruiting process play out into the summer, since this year is his first on a major AAU circuit and he wanted to see how high his stock can go and who else jumped into the picture.
It just so happens that he committed right before the biggest part of the AAU season. Plenty of players have seen their recruitment blow up after a solid month of July. And some think Hargrove can be that guy this year.
When I was at the Nike Elite 100 camp in St. Louis last month, I asked a mix of national reporters and AAU big wigs for some names to be on alert for this month, Hargrove’s came up on a lot of them.
As for Missouri, I’m not sure he had a committable offer from the Tigers. Had he continued to play well that could have changed and the possibility is still there. Either way, his situation is one I’ll be keeping an eye on.
Side note that none of you probably care about; Hargrove was one of the best interviews I’ve dealt with in all my time covering recruiting. Really well-spoken kid that clearly tried to answer every question as best he could. Sadly, that’s not common.
Collum cuts to seven
Speaking of 2019 wings, Memphis resident Antavion Collum recently cut his list to seven schools, and Missouri made the cut. The Tigers are joined by UNLV, Louisville, Florida State, Florida Georgetown and Mississippi.
I saw Collum play briefly for Team CP3 when in Dallas and was impressed with what I saw. He’s athletic and a pretty good passer.
I plan to speak with him next week at the Peach Jam but have no clue where Missouri stands right now.
With Memphis being a short drive away from Columbia (five hours) compared to some of those other schools, I wouldn’t be surprised if he visited.
Buford visiting Florida?
Much is being made of a report out by Rivals.com, that Missouri offensive line commit Jack Buford is looking into a Florida visit this fall.
Before you push the fire alarm, let’s go over some things.
Buford only committed a month ago. In my dealings with his family, they didn’t seem the type to play games. He wouldn’t have committed a month ago if he wasn’t feeling very sure of himself.
Second, it’s July. He’s saying he could visit in the fall and then change his mind or has something else come up. It’s not news until he actually takes it. I’ve told people I’ve always wanted to visit Egypt. Guess where I’ve yet to go to?
Third, this is recruiting in the modern day. Kids who have a lot of options are always going to have schools stay on them even when they’ve committed elsewhere.
Finally, it brings me back to a dealing I had with a big-time football recruit from my part of Jersey years ago. He had a Mizzou offer, visited but wound up at a blue blood. Shortly after he committed, he told me he still planned to take visits and that his future coaches encouraged it.
Here’s what they said: “Aside from our visit, you have four others to see high-level football on someone else’s dime, while being treated like a king. Go enjoy the rest of the process. We take you at your word that you’re with us.”
Essentially the school in question said, 'Go have fun, we know you’re on board with us.'
I’m not saying Barry Odom and Buford went that route. I have no clue. But it’s an example of a committed player taking other visits with the program’s blessing and no pledges being flipped.
Summary: Chill out. It’s too hot out to push the panic button right now. Stay in the shade.
Peach Jam/Under Armour preview
Next week Aaron Reiss, my partner on the beat, and I head to Georgia for a LOT of AAU coverage before SEC Media Days begin the following week. We plan to hit the Peach Jam for the first half of next week and then head over to Under Armour as the weekend nears.
So we’ll have plenty coming your way.
Here’s a few things I’m keeping an eye on:
How far does Bradley Beal Elite go? They have the talent to win the whole thing. Aside from E. J. Liddell, Moses Moody, Mario McKinney, Hargrove, etc. are part of a team that can do a lot of damage when it’s all said and done. Are they a first-round upset or are they playing on Sunday? And who emerges as the star for them?
Aside from BBE who else does Mizzou watch? I expect Cuonzo Martin and his staff to play a game of ‘Follow the Leader’ at the Peach Jam, where BBE is the leader. We know all possible eyes will be on Liddell. But who else gets some looks? Rocket Watts and The Family are likely. Same goes for Team CP3 with Collum on it. But what about Under Armour and some of the other 2020 guys?
Does Josh Christopher elaborate anymore on a Mizzou visit? I’ve written a few times on Christopher, who I think is the program’s next best shot at a top-15 player nationally. The cousin of Mizzou strength coach Nicodemus Christopher has said before he wants to take a visit to Missouri after the Peach Jam. He told me last month, that’s the only visit he currently wants to take. Does he say if something is now more in the works or is it still in the same place?
Does Liddell say anything interesting? Another recruit who I find to be good with the media, Liddell likes to play things close to the vest when it comes to recruiting. I’ve said before Missouri is basing its plans off of his, so he does give any hint to his next step in the process?