Missouri gained something of an unusual commitment Friday when Desert Ridge High’s Adam Bay from Mesa, Ariz., announced his decision on Twitter.
That the Tigers would land a 6-foot, 210-pound outside linebacker from Arizona seems unusual enough, but it’s not his tackling that Barry Odom and company are interested in.
Bay also is the top-ranked long snapper in the class of 2017 by Kohl’s Kicking, which conducts professional camps for football specialists.
Mizzou has a strong history of long snappers in recent years — including Kearney native Beau Brinkley, who is entering his fifth season with the NFL’s Titans, and senior Jake Hurrell, who has started 40 consecutive games during the last three seasons.
Bay hopes to fit into that burgeoning tradition.
“I am truly honored to say that I have received a full ride offer to the University of Missouri and that I have committed to play football and further my education for the next four years at Mizzou,” Bay tweeted.
Good long snappers are mostly anonymous players on a football team, noticed only when a punt or field-goal snap goes awry. It’s an underrated but critical position that the Tigers are clearly emphasizing under first-year coach Barry Odom.
The Tigers also signed O’Fallon (Ill.) kicker Tucker McCann on scholarship in the 2016 recruiting class and handed out a scholarship to Franklin (Tenn.) punter Corey Fatony in the 2015 recruiting class.
Bay also had scholarship offers from Memphis, New Mexico, New Mexico State and Wyoming, according to various recruiting sites.
He’s a two-star recruit, according to Scout and ESPN, which rates him as the top long snapper and No. 24 overall player in Arizona.
Bay, who went to a specialist’s camp at Arkansas, also is a two-star recruit but ranked as the No. 3 long snapper in the country, according to 247 Sports.
With the addition of Bay, Missouri has 13 players committed in the 2017 recruiting class, including at least one from 10 different states.
The Tigers only have one player from a Missouri high school — wide receiver Da’Ron Davis, who transferred from Hogan Prep to Lee’s Summit North during the summer — with three verbal commitments from Texas and two from Illinois.