MU Signs 22 to Football National Letters of Intent

MUTIGERS.COM Head Coach Larry Smith Is All Smiles After Announcing Another Stellar Recruiting Class
Head Coach Larry Smith Is All Smiles After Announcing Another Stellar Recruiting Class

February 3, 1999

Head Football Coach Larry Smith has announced the signing of 22 prospective student-athletes to national letters-of-intent to play football at the University of Missouri.

NAME	          POS.	HT.	WT.	HOMETOWN (High School)
Zack Abron	  RB	5-10	210	Wentzville, Mo. (Francis Howell)
Gary Anthony	  DB	6-0	180	St. Louis, Mo. (Rockwood Summit)
Brandon Barnes	  ATH	6-4	204	Sikeston, Mo.
Howard Brown	  L	6-3	275	Berkeley, Mo.
Donald Clarke	  TE	6-4	230	Boca Raton, Fla. (Spanish River)
Terrence Curry	  DB	5-11	175	Dellwood, Mo. (Kirkwood)
Dan Davis	  FB	6-2	230	Topeka, Kan. (Hayden)
Sean Doyle	  LB	6-0	220	Overland Park, Kan. (Rockhurst)
Rob Droege	  L	6-6	260	St. Louis, Mo. (Lindbergh)
Tauras Ferguson	  B	5-11	180	St. Charles, Mo. (St. Charles West)
Kionne Franklin	  LB	6-0	215	Cedar Hill, Texas (Duncanville)
Justin Gage	  QB	6-5	200	Jefferson City, Mo.
Rusty Groth	  L	6-4	275	Glendale, Mo. (Kirkwood)
Dan Kania	  L	6-7	280	Barnhart, Mo. (Imperial Windsor)
Jake Kling	  TE	6-5	228	St. Charles, Mo. (Francis Howell No.)
Darius Outlaw	  QB	6-4	190	Powder Springs, Ga. (Paulding County)
A.J. Ricker	  L	6-5	272	Spring, Texas (Klein)
Taurean Rollins	  B	5-11	190	Kansas City, Mo. (Raytown South)
Brandon Severino  ATH	6-3	190	Overland Park, Kan. (Rockhurst)
Cliff Young	  L	6-3	280	St. Louis, Mo. (Riverview Gardens)



ZACK ABRON, B, 5-10, 210, Wentzville, Mo. (Francis Howell) - Committed early to the Tigers and canceled visits to three other schools all-state selection who was the third-leading rusher in the St. Louis area with 1,951 yards and tied for the area lead with 31 touchdowns rushed for 100-or-more yards in all 12 games, including 194 against Jefferson City and 209 against Pattonville has 4.6 speed for 40 yards ... first-team all-metro and all-state selection parents - Cornelius and Linda Abron high school coach - Larry Branson born Feb. 3, 1980 academic interest - business.

GARY ANTHONY, DB, 6-0, 180, St. Louis, Mo. (Rockwood Summit) - Talented all-around athlete who may have been a bit overshadowed as a defensive back in St. Louis by fellow Mizzou recruit Terrence Curry did it all for Summit on both sides of the ball made 112 tackles, with two fumble recoveries, a sack and intercepted six passes (for 120 yards) rushed 123 times for 1,058 yards (8.6 yards per carry) and caught 24 passes for 368 yards scored 16 touchdowns ranked fourth in the St. Louis area in kick return yards, with 18 kickoffs for 508 yards and one punt return for 25 yards parents - Alex Wren and Robbin Gibson high school coach - Mike Bellers born Nov. 28, 1980 academic interest - business/marketing.

BRANDON BARNES, ATH, 6-4, 204, Sikeston, Mo. - Versatile athlete from southeast Missouri who has size and speed (4.6) second-team all-state as a defensive back earned all-conference and all-district honors at both wide receiver and defensive back named by the Sikeston Standard as the best player in Southeast Missouri parents - Ed and Beverly Barnes high school coach - Charlie Vickery born June 12, 1981 academic interest - history.

HOWARD BROWN, L, 6-3, 275, Berkeley, Mo. - Mizzou's first commitment and the defensive MVP of the Tigers' summer camp last year two-time all-metro selection in St. Louis as a senior, made 83 tackles, five quarterback sacks and three fumble recoveries parents - Howard Brown Sr. and Fannie Brown born March 25, 1980 academic interest - education.

DONALD CLARKE, TE, 6-4, 230 Boca Raton, Fla. (Spanish River) - Played on a high school team that was loaded with Division I prospects caught three passes as a senior for 50 yards and a touchdown parents - Donald and Maudrey Clarke high school coach - Paul Lombardo born Oct. 2, 1980 academic interest - engineering.

TERRENCE CURRY, DB, 5-11, 175, Dellwood, Mo. (Kirkwood) - Considered to be the top defensive back prospect in the Midwest and was chosen the St. Louis "Defensive Player of the Year" by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch led the St. Louis area with nine pass interceptions, and made 45 tackles and two fumble recoveries ranked third in the St. Louis area with 682 kick return yards caught eight passes with an average of 31 yards per reception first-team all-state and all-metro has 4.35 speed over 40 yards as a junior, caught 13 passes (21-yard average) for nine touchdowns and intercepted three passes on defense also plays basketball and runs track parents - LeMuel Payne and Rochelle Curry high school coach - Mike Wade born July 21, 1981 academic interest - arts and science.

DAN DAVIS, FB, 6-2, 230, Topeka, Kan. (Hayden) - Bruising fullback candidate with speed who enjoyed a tremendous career at Hayden High School and led the Wildcats to an undefeated state championships season as a senior all-state selection who rushed for 2,585 yards and 34 touchdowns in 1998 amassed 5,598 rushing yards in his career and led Topeka area in rushing for three consecutive years ran for 1,733 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior and gained 1,280 as a sophomore broke the Topeka career rushing record against Seaman High at mid-season in a game in which he gained 342 yards on 12 carries, including TD runs of 85, 52, 63 and 71 yards in the Kansas 4A semifinal game vs. Pratt, rushed 41 times for 422 yards and scored six touchdowns was the USA Today "Player of the Year" for the state of Kansas committed to Mizzou last summer, picking the Tigers over Kansas State and Nebraska mother - Susie McLain high school coach - Thomas Stringer born July 23, 1981 academic interest - physical therapy.

SEAN DOYLE, LB, 6-0, 220, Overland Park, Kan. (Rockhurst) - Claimed the Simone Award emblematic of the top high school player in the Kansas City area made 139 tackles as a senior, and had 615 offensive yards and nine touchdowns as a fullback was also Rockhurst's kicker and put up 38 points in that role first-team all-state selection on team that went 12-1 and advanced to the Missouri Class 5A semifinals made 341 tackles in his career brother Chris plays at Kansas picked MU over Kansas State, Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State and KU parents - Mickey and Sharon Doyle high school coach - Tony Severino born June 25, 1980.

ROB DROEGE, L, 6-6, 260, St. Louis, Mo. (Lindbergh) - The most coveted recruit in the St. Louis area who opted for Mizzou over Tennessee and Michigan first-team all-metro and all-state pick who was also tabbed as a second-team all-American by USA Today is the state's top-ranked heavyweight wrestler and also one of Missouri's best discus throwers (172-feet) attended MU's camp last summer parents - Robert and Mary Droege, both teachers high school coach - Tom Beauchamp born Feb. 15, 1981 academic interest - industrial education.

TAURUS FERGUSON, B, 5-11, 180, St. Charles, Mo. (St. Charles West) - Averaged only 11 carries per game last year and gained 832 yards also had nine receptions for 165 yards scored 13 touchdowns (seven rushing, six receiving) and three two TD passes on halfback options for his career, rushed for 2,632 yards and scored 32 TDs as a three-year starter played on two district championship clubs also played defensive back and was his team's punter picked MU over Illinois and Kansas State participated in MU's summer football camp last summer is the reigning state high hurdles champion on the track parents - Arthur and Shirley Harrington high school coach - Steve Stahl born May 5, 1981 academic interest - computer science.

KIONNE FRANKLIN, LB, 6-0, 215, Cedar Hill, Texas (Duncanville) - Speedy linebacker prospect from Duncanville High team that went 12-3 last season and won the state championship also recruited by TCU, SMU and Tulsa parents - Lindrell Franklin and Jackie Lair high school coach - Bob Alpert born Jan. 3, 1980 academic interest - psychology.

JUSTIN GAGE, QB, 6-5, 200, Jefferson City, Mo. - Is the third quarterback in as many years to sign with Mizzou out of Jeff City High School, following Kurt Propst (1997) and Kirk Farmer (1998) passed for 1,148 yards and 21 touchdowns last season and also ran for 702 yards and 12 TDs was second-team all-state as a defensive back stars on the basketball court for the Jays, too parents - Al and Ernestine Gage high school coach - Ron Cole born Jan. 24, 1981 academic interest - business.

WILLIAM "RUSTY" GROTH, L, 6-4, 275, Glendale, Mo. (Kirkwood) - Called by his high school coach "the most dominating lineman we've ever had" was a key to Kirkwood's ability to rush for a school-record 4,045 yards last season also considered Kansas State, Northwestern and Air Force parents - Bill Groth and Toni Moll high school coach - Mike Wade born Oct. 24, 1981 academic interest - pre-medicine.

DAN KANIA, L, 6-7, 280, Barnhart, Mo. (Imperial Windsor) - One of six offensive linemen in this year's recruiting class as Missouri beefs up its numbers (Tigers graduated four starters from the offensive line) parents - Dan and Karen Kania high school coach - Joel Critchlow born Nov. 6, 1980 academic interest - psychology.

JAKE KLING, TE, 6-5, 228, St. Charles, Mo. (Francis Howell North) - Caught 18 passes last season for 227 yards and five touchdowns saw some time on defense where he recovered a fumble and had one quarterback sack father - John Kling high school coach - Gary Eagen born Sept. 12, 1980 academic interest - sports medicine.

DARIUS OUTLAW, QB, 6-4, 190, Powder Springs, Ga. (Paulding County) - Attended Missouri's summer football camp each of the last two years has a strong arm but is also adept at running the option passed for 1,600 yards and rushed for 800 as a junior was also recruited by Clemson, South Carolina and Georgia Tech parents - Eric and Anita Outlaw high school coach - Tom O'Boyle born July 8, 1981 academic interest - business.

A.J. RICKER, L, 6-5, 272, Spring, Texas (Klein) - First-team all-state selection in talent-rich Texas was a two-year starter and all-district selection who led his team to the Class 5A Division I playoffs made 58 "pancake" blocks in 11 games rated as one of the top players in Texas by every major recruiting service elected Homecoming King by 3,600-member student body at Klein High School picked the Tigers after considering Arkansas, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Baylor, Mississippi State and Houston four-year member of FFA and FCA team captain as a senior enjoys hunting and fishing parents - Tom and Angela Ricker, father is a graduate of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., and mother is graduate of Centerl Missouri State high school coach - Ray Kenjura born March 29, 1980 academic interest - business.

TAUREAN ROLLINS, B, 5-11, 190, Kansas City, Mo. (Raytown South) - Considered by many to be the best running back in the Kansas City area missed four games last season with an ankle injury but still rushed for more than 1,100 yards picked Mizzou over Kansas, Northwestern and Kansas State parents - Elvis Rollins and Sharon Perry high school coach - Kelly Donohoe born April 29, 1981 academic interest - journalism/business.

BRANDON SEVERINO, ATH, 6-3, 190, Overland Park, Kan. (Rockhurst) - Big, rangy receiver will be an added bonus to the Missouri passing game first-team all-state selection who caught 53 passes for 1,131 yards and 13 touchdowns last season is the first receiver in Rockhurst history to post a 1,000-yard season also considered Colorado, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Nebraska parents - Tony and Marilyn Severino high school coach - his father born Sept. 16, 1980 academic interest - business.

CLIFF YOUNG, L, 6-3, 280, St. Louis, Mo. (Riverview Gardens) - A two-way star for the state champion Riverview Rams made the St. Louis all-metro first team on both sides of the ball and was a all-state selection on defense made 43 tackles last season, with six QB sacks and four fumble recoveries was also heavily recruited by Michigan State and Minnesota parents - Cecil and Mildred Young high school coach - Darren Sunkett born Sept. 10, 1980 academic interest - journalism/computer science.


ERIC EARTHLY, LB, 6-0, 221, Sophomore, Humble, Texas (Nimitz/Kemper Military College) - Was a high school teammate of Mizzou sophomore guard Adrian Cole who should start on the Tigers' offensive line in 1999 signed with the Tigers in 1997 out of Nimitz High but took the junior college route has three years left to play at MU three-time all-district pick in high school who notched 110 tackles as a senior and had four QB sacks and one pass interception junior numbers included 92 tackles and three sacks, and made 98 stops with three picks as a sophomore also played baseball for two years in high school parents - John and Marilyn Earthly brother Andre was drafted out of high school by the Houston Astros and later went on to play at San Jacinto Junior College where he was part of NJCAA championships teams in 1990 and '91 high school coach - Burnis Simon junior college coach - David Ross born June 9, 1978.

DAVID MONROE, LB, 6-0, 225, Sophomore, Miami, Fla. (Killian/Hutchinson Community College) - Like Earthly, possesses sideline-to-sideline speed and adds to Missouri's ever-growing stable of talented linebackers also signed with MU in 1997 before going to junior college has three years of eligibility remaining parents - Daniel and Gloria Monroe high school coach - Sam Miller junior college coach - Dave Wheeler born March 16, 1978.



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