This past week was big for my credibility.
I said in last week’s column that I felt confident this week’s edition would have some actual commitment talk in it, and we got it! Who called it? That’s what I thought.
My email is at the bottom of the page if you want the upcoming lottery numbers as well.
A LOT to dive into, so what are we waiting for?
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
A CoMo kid, a Jersey boy and a Texan …
Night at the Zou was an instant success for Mizzou as the Tigers picked up two commitments less than 24 hours after the event took place and another later in the week.
Columbia Rock Bridge defensive back Martez Manuel and Charles Njoku both committed to Missouri on Sunday and offensive lineman Thalen Robinson followed on Thursday. The Tigers now have nine commits in the 2019 class.
Manuel is a great athlete who won a few state titles in track on relays last year and also hurdles, so I’m assuming he’s got a good vertical. He chose Missouri over Wyoming and Iowa State, and it’s good for the program to take care of its backyard.
It should also help the program with 2020 defensive end Jalen Logan-Redding, who is a 6-foot-4 monster that plays with Manuel at Rock Bridge. He also holds a Notre Dame offer. I saw some local high school coaches at NATZ and they all said Logan-Redding (or JRL if you’re into abbreviations for nicknames) is a can’t miss prospect for the staff next year.
As for Njoku, he hails from my home state of New Jersey and plays for a factory at Wayne Hills. Greg Olsen of the Carolina Panthers went there, and the program always has playmakers.
Njoku has good genes (his brother plays for the Browns) and frame at 6-foot-4. It will be interesting to see if he can crack Missouri’s wideout rotation as an underclassmen with so many bodies there right now.
Robinson is 6-6 and chose the Tigers over Tulane, Texas State and Colorado State and others. He’s rated as a three-star recruit by 247sports. Robinson is from Texas, and Missouri has a good track record of developing guys from there. He fits the bill of where Missouri is trying to go with its offensive line in terms of size. You won’t see the program offering too many linemen shorter than 6-foot-4 going forward.
Another commit coming Friday?
Maurice Massey, a 2019 wide receiver from Kirkwood, is announcing his commitment on Friday. His final two schools are Illinois and Missouri.
Both sides appear to feel confident about their chances so we’ll see where he goes. A commitment from Massey would give Barry Odom more momentum in St. Louis as bigger prospects like Marcus Washington, Ira Henry and Jalani Williams remain on the board.
Speaking of Washington …
He was supposed to announce on Tuesday between Missouri and Ohio State.
At Night at the Zou Washington said Urban Meyer called him to explain the Zach Smith situation, roughly 30 minutes after the news on it broke.
Now Meyer is on administrative leave after it was reported that Meyer may have known about the 2015 alleged domestic-violence episode between Smith and his then-wife.
Washington tweeted out on Thursday that he’s reopening his recruitment after all the latest developments and has no timetable for his next move. Missouri felt good about its chances before Thursday’s news. Now who knows what happens next.
List cuts on list cuts …
Just as it’s watch list season in college football, where every player with a pulse is being named to an award watch list just for playing the position (kidding but also kind of not), in recruiting it’s list-cut season as a lot of basketball and football players are cutting things down with the school year about to start.
Missouri made the top six for Parkway North football wideout C.J. Boone. His list also includes Kentucky, Kansas, Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue.
I like Missouri’s chances, but if Massey commits on Friday and Washington commits at some point, I have to wonder how many spots are left at wideout. If the Tigers can take four local receivers though, that’s a great look for the program.
Another list cut that is coming on Friday is recent Missouri basketball offer C.J. Walker. Walker is cutting his list to 12 after a breakout summer that saw him pick up offers from Arizona, Texas, Mississippi and Louisville among others.
I haven’t done a ton of homework on Walker since he just came on the radar, but I like Missouri’s chances of making the cut. I can’t really predict much more until I see the list.
My reasoning on Missouri making the cut is rather elementary. Walker is cutting his list to 12 schools, which is a relatively high number for a list cut, so I’ll take the odds that the Tigers are one of the 12 he names.
See, this is the hard hitting analysis you read this for.
Montverde, Florida condo for Cuonzo?
When I tweeted that Missouri basketball coach Cuonzo Martin should seriously consider getting a condo in Montverde, Florida, for recruiting purposes I was half kidding. But I think it’s safe to say that we’ll see Missouri’s staff make quite a few trips there.
Moses Moody, a consensus five-star basketball prospect in the 2020 class, announced that he will be attending Montverde Academy for his final two years of high school.
A native of Little Rock, Ark., Moody plays AAU for Bradley Beal Elite alongside E.J. Liddell, Mario McKinney and all of those guys. He played a year up this summer and did more than just hold his own.
A coach recruiting Moody pulled me aside in April at the first EYBL session in Dallas and said to me, “See that Moody kid? He’s the difference between a good team and a championship-caliber team.”
Moody already picked up a ton of offers this year, and now he will be playing on a powerhouse that also includes Balsa Koprivica and Harlond Beverly. I’ve dealt with Kevin Boyle, Montverde’s coach, who used to be at St. Patrick’s in Jersey, and player development is his thing. Moody could be a top-10 player in the class when it’s all said and done.
Beverly and Koprivica are both Missouri targets whom the Tigers are in good shape with as well. Both have been quiet this summer in terms of recruitment plans, so it remains to be seen what their next moves are.
Vahe on the recruiting beat!
My co-beat writer Aaron Reiss and I received a text on Wednesday from everyone’s favorite columnist Vahe Gregorian, with a picture asking us if Liddell was the tall gentleman standing by him at Cuonzo Martin’s free youth camp in Belleville, Ill.
We said yes.
So Vahe being the spectacular reporter he is went over and introduced himself. I guess that’s not even journalism but manners 101. I didn’t expect Vahe to interview him, but he did.
Liddell told him that he’s unsure when he plans to cut his list, what the number of schools will be and where else he planned to visit. Liddell added that people are saying he has a top four or that some schools are favorites and others aren’t and said that’s all inaccurate.
He declined to say if he plans to take an official visit to Missouri.
I don’t think this is a red flag at all, I just think Liddell is playing things close to the vest and might be growing tired of the recruiting questions.
“It can get stressful sometimes, but I’m just having fun with it,” Liddell told Vahe. “Enjoy all the attention because you only get to go through this process one time.”