Head Coach Gary Pinkel has signed what scouting experts are calling the highest-ranked recruiting class in Mizzou history.
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Twenty-three standout student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend the University of Missouri and play football for Head Coach Gary Pinkel, as announced today.
Mizzou has won 45 games over the past five seasons (2005-09), a figure which ranks as 15th-best in the nation among BCS schools in that stretch, and as third-best among Big 12 schools. That high level of sustained success has undoubtedly helped Tiger coaches assemble what this year is regarded by scouting experts as the highest-ranked recruiting class in program history.
As of early afternoon, Rivals.com ranked Mizzou’s class as the nation’s 21st-best, which would surpass the previous high of a No. 24 ranking for MU’s 2008 signing class.
Mizzou’s previous eight classes rated, according to Rivals: 29th in 2002, 28th in 2003, 29th in 2004, 39th in 2005, 47th in 2006, 33rd in 2007, 24th in 2008 and 35th in 2009.
Mizzou fared very well in-state in 2010, as it signed six of Missouri’s top 11 players according to the Rivals rankings, including each of the top three ranked players in the state.
The Tiger coaching staff also continued its outstanding work mining the pipelines of Texas, as it signed nine Lone Star State standouts. In all, 13 of MU’s 2010 signees rank among the top-20 players in their home state, according to Rivals.
Four student-athletes from the 2010 class are already enrolled and are taking classes at Mizzou this semester, meaning they will be able to participate in spring drills, which begin in March. That quartet of early enrollees includes QB James Franklin (Corinth, Texas), QB Tyler Gabbert (Ballwin, Mo.), DB Kenronte Walker (Fayetteville, N.C./City College of San Francisco) and TE Eric Waters (Arlington, Texas).
“We’re very pleased with the quality group of young men who will be part of our family at Mizzou,” said head Coach Gary Pinkel. “We’ve been able to maintain a high level of success with our program, and we all know that it starts with recruiting, which to me is the lifeblood of what we do. Our coaching staff has done a great job of selling our program, and the success we’ve had in the last five years has elevated the profile of our name and helped us become increasingly attractive to some really outstanding student-athletes,” he said.
Following is a roster and biographical sketches for each of MU’s 23 signees…
MIZZOU FOOTBALL CLASS OF 2010 (FINAL)
|Video||Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (High School/JC)||MaxPreps Bio|
|Nick Demien||OL||6-6||295||Wentzville, Mo. (Timberland HS)||MaxPreps|
|Kony Ealy||DE||6-5||230||New Madrid, Mo. (New Madrid HS)||MaxPreps|
|Daniel Easterly||DB||6-4||180||Detroit, Mich. (Cass Tech HS)||MaxPreps|
|* James Franklin||QB||6-2||220||Corinth, Texas (Lake Dallas HS)||MaxPreps|
|* Tyler Gabbert||QB||6-0||190||Ballwin, Mo. (Parkway West HS)||MaxPreps|
|E.J. Gaines||DB||5-10||175||Independence, Mo. (Fort Osage HS)||MaxPreps|
|Anthony Gatti||OL||6-6||280||St. Louis, Mo. (Parkway North HS)||MaxPreps|
|Matt Hoch||TE||6-5||245||Harlan, Iowa (Harlan HS)||MaxPreps|
|Tristen Holt||DB||6-0||185||Gilmer, Texas (Gilmer HS)||MaxPreps|
|Jimmie Hunt, Jr.||WR||6-1||195||Cahokia, Ill. (Cahokia HS)||MaxPreps|
|Henry Josey||TB||5-10||180||Angleton, Texas (Angleton HS)||MaxPreps|
|Marcus Lucas||WR||6-5||205||Liberty, Mo. (Liberty HS)||MaxPreps|
|Mitch Morse||OL||6-6||280||Austin, Texas (St. Michael’s Academy)||MaxPreps|
|Marcus Murphy||TB||5-9||170||DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto HS)||MaxPreps|
|Jared Parham||LB||6-2||220||Coppell, Texas (Coppell HS)||MaxPreps|
|Darvin Ruise||DB||6-2||220||Glen St. Mary, Fla. (Baker County HS)||MaxPreps|
|Bud Sasser||WR||6-3||200||Denton, Texas (Ryan HS)||MaxPreps|
|Xavier Smith||DB||5-11||180||Edmond, Okla. (North HS)||MaxPreps|
|Lucas Vincent||DT||6-3||285||Olathe, Kan. (North HS)||MaxPreps|
|* Kenronte Walker||DB||6-0||205||Fayetteville, N.C. (Westover HS/C.C. of San Francisco)||MaxPreps|
|* Eric Waters||TE||6-4||215||Mansfield, Texas (Summitt HS)||MaxPreps|
|Braylon Webb||DB||6-0||195||Gilmer, Texas (Gilmer HS)||MaxPreps|
|Greg White||TB||6-1||215||De Queen, Ark. (De Queen HS)||MaxPreps|
|* - Denotes already enrolled in classes at Mizzou|
Fr., OL, 6-6, 295
Wentzville, Mo. (Timberland HS)
(Last name is pronounced duh-MEAN) … One of the most dominant offensive line prospects in the nation who is playing for his homestate Tigers … Has been touted for his outstanding technique, footwork and aggressiveness by scouting services, and is someone who goes all out beyond the whistle … Rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in the state of Missouri and as the nation’s No. 11 offensive tackle by Rivals, and as the nation’s No. 72 prospect overall, among all players … Ranked as the nation’s No. 5 offensive tackle by Scout.com, and as the nation’s No. 13 offensive tackle by Tom Lemming, while ESPN.com puts him at No. 17 nationally at the position … Won all of those accolades despite missing most of his senior year due to a knee injury … Recovered in time to earn an invite to play in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January, where he moved over to right tackle, after playing left tackle primarily in high school … His team won three straight conference and district championships thanks to his efforts, which earned him 1st-Team All-State individual accolades as well as two-time 1st-Team All-Conference mention … Also an outstanding prep wrestler who took 5th place in the state championship meet in 2007, after being a state qualifier in 2006 … High school coach – Craig Collins … Mother – Leslee Demien … Uncle David, was a football letterman at Mizzou in 1975 … Interested in studying business/construction management at Mizzou … Lists hobbies as trap shooting and fishing … Chose Mizzou over Oklahoma, Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida State, Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Mississippi, UCLA and Kansas, among a slew of others.
Fr., DE, 6-5, 230
New Madrid, Mo. (New Madrid HS)
(First name is pronounced COE-knee / Last name is pronounced EE-lee) … A very versatile athlete who could potentially make an impact on either side of the ball, as he starred as an outside linebacker on defense and a running and receiving threat on offense for his school … He’s only played organized football for the last three years, so many feel he’s got a huge upside in terms of continuing development … Most scouting services project him to eventually fit into a defensive end position … Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 3 player in the state of Missouri, as well as the nation’s No. 11 weakside defensive end prospect, in addition to considering him one of the nation’s top 250 prep players overall … Scout.com ranks him as the nation’s #13 defensive end prospect, and says he is a good athlete who does well in space and who has good speed in pursuit … Ranked as the nation’s No. 49 defensive end prospect by ESPN.com … Was a first-team all-state, all-conference, all-region and all-district selection after his senior season which saw him amass 104 total tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 12.5 quarterback sacks, 31 quarterback pressures, 5 forced fumbles, 7 pass break ups, 4 blocked kicks … Also managed 27 receptions for 596 yards and 6 touchdowns on offense, while he also ran for 162 yards and 2 TDs, as well … Notched 89 tackles as a junior, including 31 tackles for loss, and 10.5 quarterback sacks while adding 21 quarterback hurries … On offense as a junior, caught 22 passes for 501 yards and 3 touchdowns … Is also a standout on the basketball court for New Madrid, where he has won all-state, and numerous all-district, all-region and all-conference honors … High school coach – Arlen Pixley … Parents – Willie Ealy & Nettie Jones … Interested in studying business management at Mizzou … Lists hobbies as horseback riding, fishing, basketball, movies and reading … Chose Mizzou over Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Mississippi and Illinois, among others.
Fr., DB, 6-4, 180
Detroit, Mich. (Cass Tech HS)
A highly-coveted do-it-all type of athlete who will make an impact at safety at the collegiate level … Made his mark at the prep level playing at defensive back and linebacker and also serving as a standout on kickoff and punt coverage units, where he showed a fearless mentality, great speed and a natural athleticism … Ranked by ESPN.com as the nation’s No. 41 prep safety prospect … Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 16 overall player at any position in the state of Michigan, and as the nation’s No. 81 prep prospect at the athlete position … Scout.com ranks him as the nation’s No. 89 safety prospect … Won All-State honors in each of his last two seasons … Turned in 123 tackles, 4 forced fumbles and 14 pass break ups playing both safety and linebacker during his senior season in 2009 … During his junior season, had 83 total tackles, and added 15 pass break ups, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries … Also an outstanding performer in track, as he won all-state honors multiple times … High school coach – Thomas Wilcher … Hails from the same high school as current Assistant A.D. & Head Strength Coach, Pat Ivey … Parents – Zachary & Karen Easterly … Was born in Kansas City and lived there until he was eight years old … Hails from an athletic family, as his older brothers Zachary and Julian play football at Wayne State and Indiana State, respectively … Interested in studying broadcast journalism at Mizzou’s renowned School of Journalism … Lists hobbies as making highlight tapes and playing basketball … Chose Mizzou over Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Louisville and Minnesota, among many others.
Fr., QB, 6-2, 220
Corinth, Texas (Lake Dallas HS)
One of the top dual threat prep signal callers in the nation the last couple of years … Graduated early from high school, and is currently enrolled in spring semester classes at Mizzou, and will be able to take part in spring drills when camp opens this March … Is a strong-armed and elusive presence in the backfield who has proven to be very adept at throwing the ball on the run … Ranked as the nation’s No. 4 dual threat quarterback by Rivals.com, who also put him among the nation’s top 150 players at any position, as well as rating as the No. 20 overall prospect to come out of the state of Texas in 2010 … Ranked by Tom Lemming as the nation’s No. 5 combo passers … Considered the nation’s No. 11 overall quarterback prospect by Scout.com … In 2009, threw for 2,360 yards, rushed for 1,282 yards and accounted for 41 total touchdowns, as he was a Class 4A 2nd-Team All-State selection, while also winning District 5-4A Most Valuable Player honors … As a junior in 2008, passed for 2,464 yards and added 23 touchdowns, while gaining 1,151 yards and 18 more touchdowns on the ground … Played basketball for his school, and additionally was a regional qualifier in the shot put … High school coach – Jeremy Males … Parents – Willie & Pamela Franklin …Father, Willie Franklin, was a standout tight end for Oklahoma and played in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts… Interested in studying communications while at Mizzou … Lists hobbies as working out, eating, thinking, playing with his dogs, hanging out with friends and learning more about God … Chose Mizzou over Nebraska, Oregon, Oklahoma State, TCU and Kansas State, among others.
Fr., QB, 6-0, 190
Ballwin, Mo. (Parkway West HS)
A highly-coveted quarterback prospect who is billed as having a quick release and a compact throwing motion, which helps him make plays from all over the field … Graduated early from high school, and is currently enrolled in spring semester classes at Mizzou, and will be able to take part in spring drills when camp opens this March … Has displayed outstanding footwork and a solid pocket presence … Ranked by Scout.com as the nation’s No. 12 overall quarterback prospect … Ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 8 overall prospect in the state of Missouri, while bringing in the No. 17 pro-style quarterback ranking nationally … Threw for 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior in 2009, while adding two scores and 225 yards on the ground … Won 2nd-Team All-Conference honors in each of his last two seasons … As a junior in 2008, compiled over 1,900 passing yards to go with 18 touchdowns in the air, while he tallied 700 passing yards and six scores as a sophomore … Was also an outstanding baseball player who hit .370 as a second baseman … High school coach – Jeff Duncan … Parents – Chuck & Bev Gabbert … Joins his older brother Blaine – MU’s starting quarterback in 2009 – as a Missouri Tiger … Interested in studying finance at Mizzou’s renowned School of Business … Lists hobbies as fishing and hanging out with his family and friends … Chose Mizzou over Nebraska, Iowa, Wake Forest, Oregon and Kansas, among many others.
Fr., DB, 5-10, 175
Independence, Mo. (Fort Osage HS)
A standout two-way player who brings good instincts, speed and a physical nature to whatever position he’s lined up at … Ranked as the No. 9 overall talent in the state of Missouri by Rivals.com, and also by the same outlet as the nation’s No. 51-ranked cornerback prospect … Scout.com slots him as the nation’s No. 52-ranked cornerback talent, while he’s ranked by ESPN.com as the nation’s No. 57 cornerback prospect … Was a two-time 1st-Team All-State performer … Helped lead his team to the Missouri Class 5 title game as a senior in 2009, before they fell to Webster Groves in the championship game … Ran for 78 yards and made 3 tackles in the title game, as his team held a 14-10 lead late in the third quarter before eventually falling, 31-14 … Had a monster senior season, as he ran for 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 400 yards, while also starring in the secondary by making 72 tackles and 2 interceptions … Turned in an 89-tackle season as a junior, when he added 5 interceptions (including one he returned for a score) in 2008 … Added 88 stops and 5 interceptions as a sophomore in 2007 … High school coach – Ryan Schartz … Also a standout performer in track and basketball for his school, as he won all-state honors in track two different years … Parents – Edwin Gaines & Alta Bailey … Interested in studying management at Mizzou … Lists hobbies as reading and playing video games, especially Madden Football … Referees little league basketball games in his spare time … Chose Mizzou very early in the recruiting process, soon after receiving a scholarship offer.
Fr., OL, 6-6, 280
St. Louis, Mo. (Parkway North HS)
(Last name is pronounced GOT-ee) … A tough, aggressive lineman who has outstanding strength … Ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 11 overall prospect in the state of Missouri, as well as the nation’s No. 43 offensive tackle prospect … Scout.com puts him at No. 74 in the nation among tackle prospects … Named a 1st-Team All-State selection at offensive tackle as a senior in 2009 as his team made the semi-finals of the state championships … Was forced to miss his team’s playoff run due to a knee injury suffered in the final regular-season game … Was named the Suburban South Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, among other honors … Was a 2nd-Team All-State selection as a junior in 2008, in addition to being 1st-Team All-Conference … Played on three district champion teams at Parkway North … Also lettered in hockey and baseball, as well as throwing the shot put with the track and field squad … High school coach – Bob Bunton … Hails from the same high school as Aaron O’Neal … Parents – Ralph & Linda Gatti … Has two older brothers who currently attend Mizzou … Interested in studying business management in Mizzou’s esteemed School of Business … Lists hobbies as music, sports, video games and cars … Claims that he is a “neat freak” who is also a good dancer, and that he is a master at the video game “Call of Duty” … Also claims that he once ate almost every item in one sitting in the green seat menu of a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game … Chose Mizzou over Wisconsin, Mississippi, Kansas, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and Indiana, among many others … Has been a Tiger fan most of his life, but mentioned the relationships he built during the recruiting process with Tiger coaches and players, as well as MU’s top-notch facilities, as major drawing points.
Fr., DE, 6-5, 245
Harlan, Iowa (Harlan HS)
(Last name is pronounced HOE-k) … Standout two-way player at the prep level who excelled as a linebacker on defense and as a running back and tight end on offense … Is considered a tough, physical player who possesses good strength and agility and has a big motor … Is rated as the No. 3 prospect in the state of Iowa by Rivals.com, and as the nation’s No. 24 strongside defensive end prospect … Ranked by ESPN.com as the nation’s No. 87 defensive end prospect … Won 1st-Team All-State honors each of his last two seasons, and helped lead his team to a state championship as a senior in 2009, winning MVP honors in the state title game as well … Registered 137 tackles and 28 tackles for loss in 2009, and added 702 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns, while catching 22 passes for 282 yards as well on offense … Led team in tackles as a junior as well, going for 98 stops and 20 tackles for loss with 8 quarterback sacks, while also seeing some action at tight end for a team which reached the state quarterfinals … Had 92 tackles as a sophomore … Also a standout wrestler for his school … High school coach – Curt Bladt … Parents – Kyle & Lori Hoch … Interested in studying for the dental profession at Mizzou … Is the younger brother of starting offensive lineman Dan Hoch … Lists hobbies as four-wheeling, fishing and paintball … Chose Mizzou over Iowa, Oregon, Nebraska, Stanford, Kansas State and Iowa State, among others … Cites the gameday atmosphere at Mizzou and the family feel of the program as major attractions for him.
Fr., DB, 6-0, 185
Gilmer, Texas (Gilmer HS)
Highly-touted athlete who was a standout defensive back with outstanding size, speed and instincts … Played both corner and wide receiver for his school, and was a two-time All-State performer for a very successful prep program … Gilmer won the state championship in 2009, going a perfect 15-0, and finished as runners-up during his sophomore season of 2007 … Ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 49 overall prospect at any position in the state of Texas, and also by Rivals as the nation’s No. 24 cornerback prospect … Caught 39 passes for 806 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior, while adding 34 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles … As a junior in 2008, registered over 40 tackles and broke up 8 passes … Also participated in basketball and track and field for his school … High school coach – Jeff Traylor … Hails from the same high school as fellow 2010 Mizzou signee Braylon Webb (they are cousins), and as 2008 MU signee Daniel Jenkins … Parents – Cedric Holt & Teameka Webb … Chose Mizzou over Arkansas, Texas Tech, Baylor and Houston, among others.
Fr., WR, 6-1, 195
Cahokia, Ill. (Cahokia HS)
An outstanding athletic talent who excelled on both sides of the ball for his school … Made his mark mostly as a safety on defense and a wide receiver on offense, but he also played some cornerback, linebacker and running back, in addition to holding for place kicks and returning kicks and punts, and he even punted on occasion … Is a fast, powerful and explosive athlete who has good hands and leadership skills … Ranked by Tom Lemming as the nation’s No. 23 safety prospect … Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 7 prospect at any position in the state of Illinois, and projects him as the nation’s No. 43 wide receiver prospect as well … A three-time team captain who was his squad’s most outstanding player each of the last two seasons, in addition to being named to various All-State squads as both a junior and senior … Led his team in 2009 with 94 tackles, to go along with 3 interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries, while catching 36 passes for 640 yards and 13 TDs on offense … Team won 9 games in 2009 and reached the state playoffs … Caught eight passes for 126 yards and one touchdown in the playoff opener, while also running in a pair of two-point conversions in his team’s 30-0 win … Had 93 tackles and 10 quarterback sacks as a junior in 2008, while catching 35 passes for 905 yards and 11 TDs on offense for a team which reached the state semi-finals … Also competed in basketball and track and field at the prep level … High school coach – Antwyne Golliday … Parents – Jimmie Hunt, Sr. & Clarissa Buchanan … Lists hobbies as hanging out with friends, watching television and playing games … Chose Mizzou over Kansas, Kansas State, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana, among others.
Fr., TB, 5-10, 180
Angleton, Texas (Angleton HS)
(Last name is pronounced JOE-see) … A very fluid athlete who starred as a running back and in a number of roles on defense for his high school program … Ranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 39 overall prospect in the athlete category … Also rated by Rivals.com as the No. 51 overall talent in the state of Texas this year … As a running back, is known for his speed and ability to hit holes hard to get into the secondary quickly …Was an all-district running back each of his last two seasons, while also earning all-district honors as a defensive back as a senior … On offense in 2009, ran for 1,369 yards and 15 touchdowns, while adding a pair of receiving scores as well … Preceded that with a junior season that included 1,267 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns … Prior to that, was an all-district linebacker as a sophomore, when he recorded 67 tackles … Also starred in track and basketball for his school, as he was part of a 4x400 relay state champion team in 2008, and was also a state qualifier in track in 2007 … High school coach – Finis Vanover … Grandparents – Thomas & Eula Josey … Interested in studying in MU’s esteemed School of Business … Lists hobbies as fishing and relaxing … Chose Mizzou over TCU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Purdue and Baylor, among others.
Fr., WR, 6-5, 205
Liberty, Mo. (Liberty HS)
One of the top playmakers in the Midwest who is considered a smooth pass catcher with an ability to consistently make acrobatic plays and use his height to outmaneuver opponents for the ball … Ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 2 overall prospect in the state of Missouri, and as the No. 25 wide receiver in the nation … Tom Lemming considers him the nation’s No. 9 wide receiver prospect, while putting him as the No. 93 player in the country at any position … Scout.com ranks him as the nation’s No. 15 wide receiver, while ESPN rates puts him at No. 38 at the position nationally … Was selected to play in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Game in January, along with fellow 2010 Mizzou signee Nick Demien … A two-time 1st-Team All-State wide receiver who was awarded each of his last two years with the Otis Taylor Award for the best receiver in the Kansas City metro area … Played as a marked man during his senior season, but still managed to catch 38 passes as a for 819 yards and 9 touchdowns, and as a junior, tallied 58 receptions for 1,176 yards and 18 scores … Caught 32 passes for 572 yards and 9 TDs during his sophomore season … In addition to his football exploits, was also a standout in basketball and track and field for Liberty High … High school coach – Joel Wells … Mother – Monique Lucas, who lettered for Mizzou’s women’s basketball team from 1986-89 … Interested in studying either business or sports medicine at Mizzou … Lists hobbies as sports and being around family and friends … Chose Mizzou over Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, UCLA, Kansas, Tennessee, Stanford and Arkansas, among many others, and says that it was the strong family atmosphere in the Mizzou program which was a major appeal.
Fr., OL, 6-6, 280
Austin, Texas (St. Michael’s Catholic Academy)
Physically dominating lineman who is known for his outstanding technique, strength and quickness… ESPN.com ranks him as the nation’s No. 19 offensive tackle talent … Ranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 51 offensive tackle prospect … Was a three-year starter on the offensive line who also starred on the defensive line as well, playing defensive tackle … Earned 1st-Team All-State honors as an offensive lineman each of his last two years, in addition to being a two-time 1st-Team All-District pick there … As a senior in 2009, added 1st-Team All-District honors as a defensive tackle to his resume … An outstanding student who twice won Academic All-State honors … A solid all-around athlete who also won multiple letters in both basketball and track and field … Was a state qualifier in the shot put … High school coach – Ed McCabe … Parents – Kevin & Catherine Morse … Interested in studying Hotel & Restaurant Management at Mizzou … Lists hobbies as weight lifting, sports, music, movies and the great outdoors … Chose Mizzou over Kansas, TCU, Stanford and Vanderbilt, among many others … Mentioned Mizzou’s academic opportunities, its beautiful campus and facilities, and the great attitudes of MU’s coaches and players that were big draws for him.
Fr., TB, 5-9, 170
DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto HS)
An elusive multipurpose back who made an impact in numerous ways for his high school program … Is credited with having sure hands, electric speed and great vision, and those traits suited him well as he racked up big numbers on offense, as well as in the return game during his prep career … Ranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 13 all-purpose back, and as the No. 55 overall prospect at any position to come out of the state of Texas … Ranked by Scout.com as the nation’s No. 88 running back talent, while ESPN.com puts him as the nation’s No. 90 running back prospect … Was a two-time District 11-5A offensive most valuable player and team captain … Ran for 1,410 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior, while catching 35 passes out of the backfield for 653 yards and 8 more touchdowns … Accounted for 23 total touchdowns as a junior in 2008, as he ran for 1,274 yards and 17 scores, while adding 41 catches for 524 yards and 6 touchdowns … Started as a cornerback as a sophomore and also ran for 187 yards and 3 touchdowns in spot duty on offense … A speedster who was part of district champion 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams in track … High school coach – Claude Mathis … Parents – William & Tonnette Murphy … Lists hobbies as working out, listening to music and playing sports … Chose Mizzou over Mississippi, Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa State, Utah and Northwestern, among others.
Fr., LB, 6-2, 220
Coppell, Texas (Coppell HS)
(Last name is pronounced PAR-ham) … Highly-rated prospect with a lot of physical tools … ESPN.com lists him as the nation’s No. 21-ranked inside linebacker prospect … Ranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 67 outside linebacker prospect … Was a team captain and all-district performer at defensive end as a senior in 2009 … Helped his team set a school record for wins in a season, with 11 in 2009 … Won all-district honors as a junior in 2008 as a linebacker … Also participated in track and field and wrestling for his school, and was a regional qualifier in track in 2009 … High school coach – Joe McBride … Parents – Wayne & Teressa Parham … Father is a Mizzou grad who was born and raised in St. Louis … Interested in studying in Mizzou’s esteemed School of Business … Lists hobbies as X-Box and lifting weights, and has previously earned the rank of an Eagle Scout … Chose Mizzou over Arkansas, Texas Tech, North Carolina, Texas A&M and Buffalo, among others … Lists the coaching staff, the campus, the athletic facilities, and the people at Mizzou as major drawing points.
Fr., ATH, 6-2, 220
Glen St. Mary, Fla. (Baker County HS)
(Last name is pronounced RUE-iss) … Versatile talent who has an exciting combination of size, speed and athletic ability to fit at a number of different positions at the collegiate level … Ranked by Rivals.com as one of the top-100 talents to come out of the talent-rich state of Florida, and also as nation’s No. 70 overall athlete prospect … Was a two-way standout for Baker County, playing quarterback and safety primarily … Helped lead his squad to a district championship in a sudden-death tiebreaker playoff system … Won numerous regional and statewide awards for his play as a senior in 2009, which included over 600 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns and 4 receiving touchdowns on offense, to go with 3 interceptions playing on defense … As a junior, had 5 interceptions and added 93 tackles, while contributing offensively with over 600 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground … High school coach – Bobby Johns … Parents – Chris Okeibunor & Marie Ruise … Interested in studying in Mizzou’s School of Business … Lists hobbies as music, hunting and playing musical instruments … Chose Mizzou over Tennessee, Georgia Tech, South Carolina and East Carolina, among others, and was very impressed with the family atmosphere, as well as the student support at Tiger games as things which stood out about his choosing MU.
Fr., WR, 6-3, 200
Denton, Texas (Ryan HS)
A big-play talent who is billed as having excellent size, speed, hands and route-running abilities … ESPN.com ranks him as the nation’s No. 63 wide receiver prospect … Ranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 67 wide receiver prospect, and by the same outlet as the No. 71 talent at any position out of the state of Texas … Was a prolific wide receiver playing in a spread-style offense, and helped lead his team to the state playoff quarterfinals in 2009 and a final record of 12-2 … Was an honorable mention All-State performer as a senior, when he caught 71 passes for 1,157 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2009 … Enjoyed an equally productive junior season in 2008, as he made 64 catches for 1,250 yards and a school-record 24 touchdowns … High school coach – Joey Florence … Denton Ryan High School has produced several Tiger players over the years, including MU career quarterback sacks record-holder Brian Smith, as well as tailback Earl Goldsmith … Also stands out on the hardwood, as he was his team’s freshman MVP and later was his team’s co-offensive player of the year for the 2008-09 basketball season … Parents – Larry Sasser & Jackie Cox-Spence … Lists hobbies as playing sports and in general just staying active … Chose Mizzou over Nebraska, Texas Tech, Arizona, Arizona State and Kansas, among others … Credits the family atmosphere at Mizzou as a major selling point, as well as the fact that he never felt pressured during the recruiting process.
Fr., DB, 5-11, 180
Edmond, Okla. (North HS)
(First name is pronounced ex-ZAY-vee-er) … Is a well-rounded and versatile athlete who possesses a good blend of size, speed and quickness … Starred at cornerback for his team, and also was heavily involved in the kick return game as well … Ranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 48 cornerback prospect, as well as the No. 12 overall talent at any position out of the state of Oklahoma this year … Ranked by ESPN.com as the nation’s No. 62 cornerback prospect … As a senior, was a 1st-Team All-District selection and special teams player of the year after registering 29 tackles and 2 interceptions (returning one for a touchdown), to go with 2 fumble recoveries and 7 pass break ups … Earned All-City and All-Metro honors as a junior in 2008 for his season which included 32 tackles, 1 interception, 2 fumble recoveries and 7 pass break ups … High school coach – Jeremy Dombeck … Parents – Aaron & Judy Franklin … Interested in studying management in MU’s School of Business … Lists hobbies as swimming, cooking and playing basketball … Chose Mizzou over TCU, Colorado State, Washington State and Tulsa, among others, and listed the family atmosphere with the program as a major drawing point.
Fr., DT, 6-3, 285
Olathe, Kan. (North HS)
A tough and rugged player in the trenches who knows how to win … Finished his career on a team which went a perfect 13-0 and as state champions in 2009, while he’s also won a state wrestling individual title (going 34-1 in the heavyweight class) … His senior class went an outstanding 31-5 during his three years on varsity at Olathe North High School … Scout.com ranks him as the nation’s No. 23 defensive tackle prospect … Ranked by ESPN.com as the nation’s No. 42 defensive tackle prospect … Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 6 overall prospect at any position coming out of the state of Kansas, and also as the nation’s No. 48-ranked defensive tackle prospect … Had a big performance in January at the Offense-Defense Sports All-American Bowl all-star game in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he helped his team to a 35-0 win, thanks to his forcing a fumble and getting free for multiple quarterback sacks … Twice named a 1st-Team All-State performer on the defensive line … Had a big game in the state title game in 2009, as he made 7 tackles, 2 quarterback sacks, and added a safety and a pass break up for good measure … Had 4 quarterback sacks in all on the 2009 season, and added 6 forced fumbles, 18 tackles for loss and 1 blocked kick … Recorded 49 tackles as a junior in 2008, including 13 tackles for loss, 9 quarterback sacks, while adding 3 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery … High school coach – Pete Flood … Parents – Steve & Genia Vincent … Lists hobbies as hanging out with friends and playing X-Box … Chose Mizzou over Nebraska, Wisconsin, Kansas and Kansas State, among others.
Jr., DB, 6-0, 205
Fayetteville, N.C. (Westover HS/City College of San Francisco)
(First name is pronounced ken-RON-tay) … Versatile and physical defender who could line up at a number of different spots in the secondary … A prep quarterback who developed into a highly-coveted defensive back after playing for one of the most successful and well-known junior college programs in the nation, in City College of San Francisco … Was teammates at CCSF with current Tigers Jarrell Harrison and Josh Tatum, who were part of MU’s 2009 signee class … Saw his way onto the field as a true freshman, and notched 36 tackles while adding 5 pass break ups, 1 interception and 2 quarterback sacks … Junior college coach – George Rush … High school coach – George Colthrop … Father – Kenneth Walker … Interested in studying radiology at Mizzou … Lists hobbies as working out, playing basketball and hanging with his family … Chose Mizzou over Oklahoma State, Houston, South Carolina and Washington, among others.
Fr., TE, 6-4, 215
Mansfield, Texas (Summitt HS)
An athletic pass-catcher in high school who recruiting experts feel will develop into a nice fit with Mizzou’s system … Is an early enrollee into Mizzou, as he graduated from high school in December and will take part in spring drills when camp opens in March … Ranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 27 tight end prep prospect, while ESPN.com puts him at No. 28 nationally at the same position … Rated by Scout.com as the nation’s No. 45 tight end prospect … As a senior in 2009, caught 23 passes for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns, after catching 26 passes for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns during his junior season … Was also an all-district performer for his school’s basketball team … High school coach – Travis Pride … Parents – Eric & Robbie Waters … Interested in studying in Mizzou’s outstanding School of Business … Lists hobbies as relaxing and playing football … Chose Mizzou over Houston, Kansas and Baylor, among others.
Fr., DB, 6-2, 180
Gilmer, Texas (Gilmer HS)
(First name is pronounced BRAY-lun) … An explosive athlete who was a standout on both sides of the ball … Comes from one of the most successful programs in Texas prep football, as Gilmer won the state championship in 2009, going a perfect 15-0, and finished as runners-up during his sophomore season of 2007 … Ranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 66 safety prospect … Named the Defensive Most Valuable Player of his district as a senior in 2009, and was an all-state pick by various outlets each of his final two years … Had 122 tackles as a senior, and added 7 pass break ups, 3 forced fumbles, 1 interception and a fumble recovery … Scored a rushing touchdown in his team’s state championship win … As a junior in 2008, recorded 68 tackles, 5 quarterback sacks, and added 4 interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries … High school coach – Jeff Traylor … Hails from the same high school as fellow 2010 Mizzou signee Tristen Holt (they are cousins), and as 2008 MU signee Daniel Jenkins … Parents – Renardo Webb & Phyllis Jones … Chose Mizzou over Houston, Texas Tech and Baylor, among others.
Fr., TB/LB, 6-2, 215
De Queen, Ark. (De Queen HS)
Gifted athlete who excelled on both sides of the ball at De Queen High School as a running back as well as a defensive end … Has a physical running style which reminds observers of a power running back, but also has displayed excellent quickness, vision and athleticism … Ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 15 overall prospect at any position coming out of the state of Arkansas … A two-time All-State and three-time All-Conference performer as a running back, who also earned honors for his play on defense … Ran for 1,240 yards and 25 touchdowns during his senior season, averaging 9.0 yards per carry on the way … Had 1,406 yards from scrimmage and 23 TDs during his junior season, and posted 1,002 yards as a sophomore … A three-sport standout who also lettered in basketball and track and field for his school … Earned all-state honors on the hardwood, and who has set a school record for most double-doubles in a season – averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds per game as a junior … High school coach – Chris Vereen … Parents – Greg White & Elmyra Brown … Lists hobbies as listening to music and hanging out with friends … Chose Mizzou over Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma, among others, and lists the family atmosphere within the program as a major drawing point.
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