Missouri football wasn’t scheduled to kick off until the evening, but the Tigers got off to a fast start Saturday: Wide receiver CJ Boone announced his commitment to Barry Odom’s program.
“If someone would have told me I was going to end up playing college football when I started playing football as a freshman, I would have never believed them,” Boone said in an Instagram video. “I’ve been through a long journey and process, and I want to thank my family, my coaches,my teammates and my friends, and then most importantly my mom, who sacrificed the most to get me where I am today.”
Boone, a 6-foot-3 wide receiver from Parkway North in St. Louis, is Mizzou’s 12th oral commitment from the high school Class of 2019 and fifth from Missouri.
“We’ve kind of known that (Boone was committing to Mizzou) for a while,” Parkway North coach Bob Bunton told The Star. “I was glad that he did it early. I appreciate that as a coach, that we don’t go all the way to the wire with all the theatrics.”
Though the 2019 recruiting class is still taking shape, Odom has already notched more in-state commitments than last year. Only three Missourians signed with the Tigers in the Class of 2018: Dominic Gicinto, Bobby Lawrence and Daniel Parker Jr.
Bunton said Boone plans to graduate high school a semester early so he can enroll at Missouri for the spring semester.
Boone, who turned 18 Saturday, has 97 receiving yards in four games for Parkway North this season. He’s also helped the team return kickoffs.
“I think it’ll take some time to develop,” Bunton said. “It’s a big step going from senior in high school to college ball at that level, but I think the one advantage CJ may have is he wants to graduate at semester and get on campus and start next spring.”
The Tigers also have 2019 commitments from Arvell Ferguson, Maurice Massey and Jack Buford, all of whom are from the St. Louis area. Quarterback Connor Bazelak, a quarterback commit from Ohio, earned a spot in ESPN’s Top 300 prospect list.
Rivals gave Boone a three-star ranking, and the receiver held offers from other Power Five schools, including Minnesota and Kentucky. He listed Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana and Kentucky as his top six.
“I put a lot of hard work to get myself where I am today in a short amount of time,” he said in his video. “This is the first step to the next level and to get me where I want to be in life.”