Tigers Sign 28 To National Football Letters Of Intent



Feb. 2, 2000

COLUMBIA, Mo. - University of Missouri Head Football Coach Larry Smith has announced the signing of 28 prospective student-athletes to national letters-of-intent to play football for the Tigers.


BRANDON BLAKE, QB, 6-3, 210, Orlando, Fla. (Colonial)
One of six signees from Florida ... selected to play in the East-West All-Star Game ... as a senior threw for 1,600 yards ... also racked up 750 receiving yards ... brother is Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jeff Blake ...son of Emery and Bernadette Hardy-Blake ... high school coach - Bill Holt ... born Jan. 20, 1982 ... academic interest in veterinary medicine.

JOE BRUCE, WR, 5-10, 180, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Talented big-play receiver ... earned All-State and All-Broward honors in 1999 ... led his team to the Class 4A Florida state title with 5 receptions for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns as a senior ... named MVP of the '99 state title game ... team also claimed the Class 4A state title during his sophomore campaign in which he was a starter ... during final season caught 41 passes for 685 yards and 7 touchdowns ... had 29 receptions for 438 yards and 7 touchdowns as a junior and 18 receptions for 231 yards with 4 touchdowns as a sophomore ... brother of St. Louis Rams All-Pro wide receiver Issac Bruce ... brother went to the same high school as current Tiger basketball players Keyon Dooling and Clarence Gilbert ... from the same high school as current wide receiver Cameron Ankele ... chose Mizzou over Ohio State and Boston College ... high school coach - George Smith.

CODY BUFORD, QB-ATH, 6-3, 225, Kansas City, Mo. (Raytown South)
One of the best high school athletes in Missouri ... suffered from an elbow injury as a senior ... touted as a quarterback, in four games threw for 800 yards and 13 touchdowns in '99 ... as a sophomore threw for 1,850 yards and 28 touchdowns ...picked MU over Kansas State, Kansas, Colorado, Michigan and Air Force ...son of Gary and Jean Buford ... high school coach - Kelly Donohoe ... born Sept. 11, 1981 ... academic interest in business or law.

ANTHONY CLINKER, OL, 6-4, 247, Plantation, Fla. (Plantation)
Solid linemen from Florida ... earned second team All-State honors as a senior ... selected Tigers over Ole' Miss and canceled a visit to Kansas ...son of Mark and Gayle Clinker ... high school coach - Frank Hepler ... academic interest in civil engineering.

ATIYYAH ELLISON, DE, 6-4, 220, St. Louis, Mo. (Parkway South)
Strong lineman with excellent speed (4.7 for 40 yards) ... recorded 47 tackles including 3 sacks as a senior for Parkway South ... was outstanding at Missouri's summer camp ... rated as the second-best defensive end coming out of high school in the Missouri and Kansas area by Mo-Kan Recruiting ... son of Carl and Regina Leatherberry ... high school coach - Tom Daley ... born Sept. 29, 1981.

JOSEPH GIANINO, OG, 6-4, 285, Eureka, Mo. (Eureka)
One of six offensive linemen in the 1999 recruiting ... has great size with the ability to move ... super run blocker ... picked Missouri over Illinois ... caught the eye of MU coaches with an outstanding MU summer camp ... son of Ralph III and Joanne Gianino ... high school coach - Art Mueller ... born April 16, 1982 ... academic interest in education.

BROCK HARVEY, QB-ATH, 6-2, 184, Centertown, Mo. (Jefferson City)
Talented all-around athlete ... played quarterback, receiver, defensive back and kicker at Jefferson City High School ... rated as the top athlete in the Missouri-Kansas area ... selected first team All-District team as a punter ... battled foot injuries as a senior while still rushing for 326 yards and six touchdowns ... completed 34-of-69 passes for 591 yards and seven touchdowns ... also averaged 36.2 yards per punt ... as a junior was a starting wide receiver and recorded 18 receptions for 320 yards and six touchdowns ... becomes the seventh player out of Jefferson City High School on MU's 2000 roster ... chose MU over Kansas, Kansas State and Arkansas ... son of Dennis Harvey and Peggy Gates ... high school coach - Ron Cole ... born Jan. 13, 1982 ... academic interest in engineering.

PHILLIP HAWKINS, OT, 6-5, 285, Chicago, Ill. (Morgan Park)
A top offensive lineman coming out of the Chicago area ... good feet for a lineman ... gets good separation on pass blocking ... an aggressive player who has good explosion off the ball ... selected Mizzou over Nebraska, Tennessee, Michigan State and Miami (Fla.) ... had an outstanding MU summer camp ... son of Jerry and Julia Hawkins ... high school coach - Lexie Spurlock ... born Feb. 26, 1982.

OCTAVIOUS JACKSON, WR, 5-10, 160, Pahokee, Fla. (Pahokee)
Considered to be one of Florida's top small-school prospects ... rated as one of Florida's top-three wide receivers coming out of high school ... tallied nearly 1,600 all-purpose yards for Pahokee High School - 400 rushing, 400 receiving, 300 passing and 486 returning... garnered second team All-State honors in Class 2A during his senior season ... chose Mizzou over Miami (Fla.), West Virginia, Illinois and Western Michigan ... son of Bernard Jackson and Lucille Williams ... high school coach - Joe Marx ... born Sept. 16, 1981.

RANDY JACKSON, DB, 5-9, 165, Plant City, Fla. (Plant City)
Committed to Missouri without a recruiting visit ... versatile athlete who has played on both sides of the ball ... tallied six interceptions as a senior ... also rushed for close to 675 yards and 12 touchdowns (nine offensive, three defensive) during 1999 ... Plant City High School went 19-4 during his last two seasons ... has 4.5 speed ... won the 200m dash as a junior at the Florida state high school meet ... chose MU over Clemson, Virginia, Florida and Tulane ... son of Lutrell and Justine Jackson ... high school coach - John Ford ... born Dec. 12, 1980 ... academic interest in business management.

MARCUS JAMES, WR, 5-8, 155, Liberal, Kan. (Liberal)
Exciting player who is strong for his size ... has 4.5 speed ... a consensus All-State selection in Class 6A ... scored 20 touchdowns five different ways - rushing, receiving, blocking a punt, returning a punt, intercepting a pass ... performed well in the classroom as well earning 4.0 GPA in his core classes ... from the same high school as current Tiger tight end Garrett Hill ... son of Edward Cohens and Petita Leon ... high school coach - Gary Cornelson ... born Oct. 11, 1981 ... academic interest in engineering.

KEVIN JOHNSON, QB-ATH, 6-3, 200, Jacksonville, Fla. (Englewood)
Versatile athlete from Florida who has both size and speed (4.6) ... a quarterback in high school, can move the pocket well ... threw for 150 yards-per-game and 15 touchdowns during senior campaign ... as a junior threw for 1,533 yards and 20 touchdowns ...ranks tenth in his graduating class at Englewood High School with a 3.7 GPA ... chose MU over North Carolina, Syracuse and Duke ... son of Kevin and Veronica Johnson ... high school coach - Lemont Jones ... born July 11, 1982 ... academic interest in accounting or business management.

JAMES KINNY, LB, 6-2, 215, Kankakee, Ill. (Kankakee)
Strong linebacker who has the speed to play from sideline to sideline ... played on both sides of the ball starting as both an outside linebacker and a fullback ... had nearly 75 tackles including 10 sacks ... also rushed for 1,100 yards last season and 17 touchdowns ... selected Mizzou over Illinois, Colorado, Minnesota and Western Michigan ... was outstanding in the Missouri summer camp ...caught the eye of the football staff with his outstanding MU summer camp performance ... son of Scott and Lora Wentz ... high school coach - Dan Wetzel ... born June 5, 1982 ... academic interest in telecommunications or journalism.

PATRICK MARSONEK, TE, 6-6, 225, Lutz, Fla. (Thomas Jefferson-Tampa)
Young player who will continue to develop ... has only one year of football under his belt ... selected to play in the Hillsboro County All-Star Game ... caught 10 passes, two for touchdowns during his senior campaign ... was also an outstanding baseball player at Thomas Jefferson High School ... son of Dan and Linda Marsonek ... high school coach - Mike Simmonds ... born Dec. 18, 1980 ... academic interest in business.

JONATHAN McCOY, TE, 6-3, 235, Moore, Okla. (Moore)
Played on a high school team that has produced top prep tight ends ... All-State selection ... two year starter on both sides of the ball ... Moore High School is continually one of the top high school teams in the state ... team went 9-1 during senior season ...caught 17 passes for 406 yards and two touchdowns in 1999 ... as a defensive end finished career with 95 tackles including 12 for loss and nine sacks during junior season ... chose Missouri over Oklahoma State and Tulsa ... son of Carolyn McCoy ... high school coach - Tom Noles ... born Oct. 7, 1981 ... academic interest in business and world history.

TERRELL MILLS, OLB, 6-4, 220, Raytown, Mo. (Raytown)
Only played in four games as a senior due to injury ... versatile athlete who could add to the Tigers lineup in several areas ... has 4.6 speed for 40 yards ... Mo-Kan Recruiting rated him as the third-best linebacker in the Missouri and Kansas area ... son of Chris and Kecia Harris ... high school coach - Pete Carpino ... born Feb. 19, 1982 ... academic interest in engineering.

MICAH MINSHALL, OG, 6-3, 280, Olathe, Kan. (Olathe North)
Strong offensive lineman from Kansas ... played on both sides of the ball ... earned first team All-Metro honors in 1999 ... member of Olathe North team that won the Kansas state title three consecutive seasons ... recorded 73 tackles including six sacks as a senior ... cancelled trips to Kansas State and Minnesota ... son of Gerald and Linda Minshall ... high school coach - Gene Wier ... born Jan. 28, 1982 ... academic interest in business.

SHIRDONYA MITCHELL, WR, 6-0, 175, Arlington, Texas (Sam Houston)
One of Missouri's four signees from Texas ... named to the AP Class 5A All-State first team in 1999 ... the leading receiver in District 7-5A with 64 catches totaling 1,094 yards ... also gained 307 rushing yards ... picked MU over Iowa State, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Minnesota ...son of Don Mitchell and Shirley Barnett ... high school coach - Ken Ozee ... born May 16, 1982 ... academic interest in business.

SCOTT PAFFRATH, OT, 6-6, 240, Trabuco Canyon (Mission Viejo)
One of four signees from California who will add strength and depth to MU's offensive line ... son of Greg and Dina Paffrath ... high school coach - Bob Johnson ... born Sept. 13, 1981 ... academic interest in business.

MILTON PHIFER, DT, 6-2, 265, Grand Prairie, Texas (South Grand Prairie)
One of the top offensive linemen coming out of Texas ... uses great technique and has great explosion off the ball ... selected to the AP Class 5A All-State team ... anchored an offensive line that averaged 391.6 yards-per-game on the ground ... picked the Tigers over Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Syracuse ... son of Georgia Edwards ... high school coach - David Thompson ... born Sept. 17, 1981 ... academic interest in business.

PHILLIP PITTS, DT, 6-4, 270, Jefferson City, Mo. (Helias)
Talented local athlete ... garnered first team All-State honors ... also earned first-team All-District and All-Conference honors ... racked up 124 tackles including 10.5 sacks ... was also a key blocker for the Crusaders on the other side of the ball as Helias High School rushed for 3,453 yards in 1999 ... rated as the third-best defensive lineman in the area by Mo-Kan Recruiting ... selected MU over Kansas State, Iowa and Iowa State ... son of Phil and Patti Pitts ... high school coach - Mike Jeffries ... born Oct. 18, 1981 ... academic interest in education.

JEREMY ROSE, DT/OT, 6-6, 290, Kansas City, Mo. (Central)
Big athlete who provides depth for Tigers in the offensive line ... son of Robert and Marie Rose ... high school coach - Ray McGowan ... born Sept. 22, 1981.

HENRY SWEAT, LB, 6-0, 210, Irving, Texas (MacArthur)
One of the best linebackers coming out of Texas in 1999 ... a tough, physical player who likes to mix things up ... not afraid to throw his body around ... recorded 125 tackles forcing five fumbles ... had 12 tackles for a loss ... selected to the Rivals100.com Texas second team super team ... earned a 4.0 GPA in high school ... chose Missouri over Harvard, Columbia, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M ... son of Henry and Lora Sweat ... high school coach - David Visentine ... born June 25, 1982 ... academic interest in business.

EUGENE SWEAZIE, RB, 6-1, 250, The Woodlands (The Woodlands)
Bruising athlete ... one of the top running backs coming out of Texas who possesses the combination of both speed (4.6) power ... had a touchdown run of 46 yards for The Woodlands as a senior ... chose Missouri over Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU ... son of Sandra Sweazie ... high school coach - Weldon Willing ... born Jan. 11, 1982.

NICHOLAS TARPOFF, DL, 6-3, 245, Edwardsville, Ill. (Edwardsville)
One of the best linemen coming out of Southern Illinois ... a three-year starter for Edwardsville High School ... team went 9-1 as a senior ... also a member of wrestling team going 34-4 as a junior ... selected MU over Kansas, Kansas State, Illinois, Iowa State and Iowa ... was outstanding in the Missouri summer camp ... son of John and Joyce Tarpoff ... high school coach - Tim Dougherty, the father of MU quarterback Jim Dougherty ... born Oct./19, 1981 ... academic interest in natural resources and fisheries.


SEAN AIN, LB, 6-1, 215, Sophomore, Redondo Beach, Calif. (Torrance/El Camino College)
Recorded 115 tackles including three sacks ... earned first team All-State honors as well as first team All-Mission Conference ... adds depth to MU's solid crop of linebackers ... possesses a lot of speed for his position (4.65) ... three years of eligibility remaining ... son of Mike and Debbie Ain ... El Camino College coach - John Featherstone ... born May 16, 1980 ... academic interest in sports therapy.

ANTWAUN BYNUM, LB, 6-2, 235, Junior, St. Louis, Mo. (Parkway Central/Hutchinson Community College)
Outstanding linebacker who continually found himself around the ball ... has two years of eligibility remaining ... earned first team NJCAA All-American honors in 1999 ... also attained All-Conference status last season ... during his two seasons at Hutchinson recorded 24 total sacks including 15 in '99 ... made 116 tackles, 26 for loss, in two-year JUCO career ... a prep All-American coming out of Parkway Central ... rated as the No. 1 linebacker in the Jayhawk Conference by Mo-Kan Recruiting ... ranked as a top-20 Blue Chip by USA Today after high school career ... son of Irma Carter ... Hutchinson Community College coach - Dave Wheeler ... born June 12, 1980.

KEITH WRIGHT, DE, 6-4, 265, Junior, Sacramento, Calif. (Sacramento City College)
All-American defensive end who dominated his opponents ... has a quick first step and a lot of ability ... recorded 67 tackles with 14 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss last season ... also had three fumble recoveries and six forced fumbles ... chose Mizzou over Arizona, Illinois and Miami (Fla.) ... son of Elizabeth Stewart ... Sacramento City College coach - David Griffin ... born June 8, 1980 ... academic interest in business or criminal justice.

High School Signees

Brandon Blake QB 6-3210 Orlando, Fla. (Colonial)
Joe Bruce WR 5-10180 Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Cody Buford QB-ATH 6-3225 Kansas City, Mo. (Raytown South)
Anthony Clinker OL 6-4247 Plantation, Fla. (Plantation)
Atiyyah Ellison DE 6-4220 St. Louis, Mo. (Parkway South)
Joseph Gianino OG 6-4285 Eureka, Mo.
Brock Harvey QB-ATH 6-2184 Centertown, Mo. (Jefferson City)
Phillip Hawkins OT 6-5285 Chicago, Ill. (Morgan Park)
Octavious Jackson WR 5-10160 Pahokee, Fla.
Randy Jackson DB 5-9165 Plant City, Fla.
Marcus James WR 5-8155 Liberal, Kan.
Kevin Johnson QB-ATH 6-3200 Jacksonville, Fla. (Englewood)
James Kinney LB 6-2215 Kankakee, Ill.
Patrick Marsonek TE 6-6225 Lutz, Fla. (Thomas Jefferson)
Jonathan McCoy TE 6-3235 Moore, Okla.
Terrell Mills OLB 6-4220 Raytown, Mo.
Micah Minshall OG 6-3280 Olathe, Kan. (Olathe North)
Shirdonya Mitchell WR 6-0175 Arlington, Texas (Sam Houston)
Scott Paffrath OT 6-6240 Trabuco Canyon, Calif. (Mission Viejo)
Milton Phifer DT 6-2265 Grand Prairie, Texas (South Grand Prairie)
Phillip Pitts DT 6-4270 Jefferson City, Mo. (Helias)
Jeremy Rose DT/OT 6-6290 Kansas City, Mo. (Central)
Henry Sweat LB 6-0210 Irving, Texas (MacArthur)
Eugene Sweazie RB 6-1250 The Woodlands, Texas
Nicholas Tarpoff DL 6-3245 Edwardsville, Ill.


Sean Ain LB SO6-1215Redondo Beach, Calif.El Camino College, Torrance, Calif.
Antwaun Bynum LB JR6-2235St. Louis, Mo.Hutchinson C.C., Hutchinson, Kan.
Keith Wright DE JR6-4265Sacramento, Calif.Sacramento C.C., Sacramento, Calif.



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