Missouri picked up a commitment Thursday from one of the top 2017 football prospects in Illinois, Lemont High tight end Logan Christopherson.
Christopherson announced his decision in a Twitter post.
“I can’t explain how blessed and grateful I am to have this opportunity to live out my childhood dream to play college football,” he wrote.
Later Christopherson added that he believes “the best school to develop me as an athlete, student and man is the University of Missouri.”
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Christopherson, a Rivals three-star recruit ranked No. 19 in Illinois, becomes the fourth known commitment in the Tigers’ 2017 recruiting class.
He joins Hogan Prep’s DaRon Davis and a pair of offensive linemen, Hyrin White from DeSoto (Texas) High and Pompey Coleman from Ben Davis High in Indianapolis.
Scout and 247 Sports also give Christopherson — a 6-foot-6, 225-pound target recruited by Tigers tight ends coach Joe Jon Finley — three stars.
According to Rivals, Christopherson also had offers from Kansas, Illinois, Iowa State, Syracuse and a host of mid-major programs, as well as interest from numerous other Power Five programs.
Christopherson is the No. 30 tight end in the 2017 recruiting class and the No. 15 overall player in Illinois (No. 755 nationally) and recently took unofficial visits to Iowa and Wisconsin, according to 247 Sports.
Christopherson, who also is listed as a defensive end for his high school team, shows good instincts on his routes, lining up on the line and in the slot and occasionally in the backfield as a blocker.
His athleticism made him a weapon as a downfield blocker, and his willingness made him effective in that role as well as at the point of attack.
Lemont, Ill., is a suburb of Chicago, where members of Mizzou’s coaching staff will participate in camps Wednesday at Lake Park (Ill.) High and North Central College in Naperville, Ill.
Missouri loses two players for 2016
Missouri will be without two members of the 2016 recruiting class, Nate Strong and Harry Ballard III, who will spend the fall semester at junior college instead, according to multiple reports.
Strong, a freshman running back at Hinds Community College and East St. Louis (Ill.) graduate, will need more time to complete his schoolwork and won’t join the Tigers until January at the earliest.
Strong — a 6-foot, 209-pound prospect — originally committed to Missouri in the 2015 high school class and signed as a junior-college transfer in February. He was expected to bolster a running game that averaged only 115.4 yards per game last season, 120th among 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
The Tigers’ current roster includes junior Ish Witter, who totaled 126 carries for 518 yards with a touchdown last season, and four running backs with no game experience: Lee’s Summit West graduate Ryan Williams, Winnetonka graduate Marquise Doherty, sophomore Trevon Walters and junior walk-on Shaun Conway.
Mizzou added Little Rock (Ark.) Christian running back Damarea Crockett in the 2016 recruiting class and also picked up a graduate-student transfer in former Oklahoma running back Alex Ross.
Ballard, a McCluer North graduate from suburban St. Louis, was a late addition to the Tigers’ 2016 class. He was officially announced as a signee on the final day of the recruiting period on April 1, but will not qualify academically and won’t enroll at Mizzou for now.