Greetings from Iowa. A rare dateline on the column this week as I’m in town for Missouri-Iowa State tonight. Side note: Last night I had one of the greatest meals of my life at Zombie Burger.
They have a Rice Krispie Treat milkshake which was life changing and a Planet Terror burger with BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, cheese and bacon. If you ever come up here, check that place out.
You’re welcome. Now let’s talk.
Jalani Williams to commit next Friday
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Arguably the most important recruit in Missouri’s 2019 class makes his decision next Friday. Jalani Williams, a 2019 defensive back from St. Louis, was originally going to commit a few weeks ago but decided to wait until the end of the season. Now that Parkway North’s season is over he’s ready to decide.
Williams checks off a few boxes for Barry Odom, should he commit. He’s an impact safety, something Missouri hasn’t had since William Moore (or you can argue Braylon Webb) and is a highly-sought after recruit from St. Louis. This would be another step in the right direction for in-state recruiting.
The two main schools appear to be Missouri and LSU. I said a few weeks ago that I think Missouri’s odds are good here, especially after talking to others in the know at other schools. LSU is still having a great year so I wouldn’t sleep on the other Tigers, but I think MU fans can be optimistic.
Danielson Ike latest
I really hate paying Sam Mellinger compliments because the return rate is very minimal but I suggest you read his amazing story on Rockhurst prospect Danielson Ike. He has a heck of a backstory that Sam knocked out of the park. Ok, enough talking about Sam.
The few people I’ve spoken to truly don’t know where Ike is leaning recruiting wise, but Missouri is optimistic about getting him in for an official visit sometime by the end of the year. If he visits, MU has a chance, but it’s tough to say what his situation fully looks like right now.
C.J. Boone to enroll early
Missouri commit C.J. Boone, Williams’ teammate at Parkway North, announced this week that he plans to be an early enrollee in Columbia come January. Williams told me over the summer he also plans to do the same wherever he commits. With MU losing Emanuel Hall and Nate Brown to graduation after the season, there’s a few open spots on the depth chart to try and seize. Boone comes in with a chance to make an early impression on wideouts coach A.J. Ofodile and get a leg up on his fellow signees. Plus he gets a headstart on his degree. Win-win situation.
LaMelo Ball back in the states
The Ball family was back in the news this week, with 2019 point guard LaMelo Ball enrolling at Spire Academy in Michigan after playing overseas the past year. The situation raised my eyebrows because Spire is a school Missouri assistant Cornell Mann regularly recruits. Former MU target Rocket Watts currently plays there and 2020 five-star Isaiah Jackson is there, too. I’m led to believe Missouri will offer Jackson at some point. I’m a huge fan of his game and think he’s a prototypical Cuonzo Martin recruit.
So what does the youngest Ball have to do with this? Well first, a disclaimer: I have no knowledge to believe Missouri has any interest in Ball or will. The thought of Cuonzo Martin sitting across a table from LaVar Ball does nothing but make me laugh. But I think it’s an interesting situation to follow.
Ball was originally committed to UCLA. Do the Bruins jump back in or say good riddance? Do other blue bloods jump into the mix given LaMelo’s top-10 talent when he was previously at Chino Hills in California? Or has the rollercoaster ride the family has been on scare teams away? I try to touch on unique recruiting situations when I can in this column and given the small MU tie with it all, I thought I would. It’s certainly something to follow.