(Photo Courtesy of: InsideSTL.com)
National signing day is one of the most exciting moments in a young football player’s life. Today for high school prospects across the country that dream of playing college football came true. The Missouri Tigers fresh off their second SEC East championship inked 23 commits for the 2015 class, which is ranked as the 18th best in country.
Five-star defensive end Terry Beckner Jr. out of East St. Louis highlighted what very well may be the best draft class in Missouri program history. Under head coach Gary Pinkel, new defensive coordinator Barry Odom, and defensive-line coach of the year Craig Kuligowski Missouri picked up a number of commits at positions of need.
Terry Beckner Jr. (5* DE)- Ranked as the second overall player in the 2015 class Beckner adds an incredible pass rushing ability that will have opponents quivering. The Tigers, who have produced a number of star-studded NFL talents at the defensive line position, should be a perfect fit for Beckner.
Drew Lock (4* QB)- Lock is the future of this Missouri Tiger team and a player that Pinkel and his staff wanted to build this class around. A lot of players end up leaving their home state to play elsewhere, but that wasn’t going to happen with Lock. Standing at 6-foot-4 and 204 pounds Lock has an NFL sized body. Though he will likely be red-shirted to add bulk, Lock appears to be the player that will pay the biggest dividends for the Tigers down the road aside from Beckner.
AJ Harris (4* OG)- The offensive line was a position of need for Missouri and Harris certainly helps fill that gap. Currently there are a number of players that sit ahead of Haarris on the depth chart so there’s a good chance he will red shirt next season. In a similar fashion to Andy Bauer Harris has a great blocking ability and can open up big holes for the run game. If he sits out and develops his skills he could make a big impact in 2016. With the addition of Harris, combined with Lock and Beckner Missouri snagged the top players in Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois.
Marcell Frazier (4* DE)- Frazier is the fourth ranked defensive end in the junior college class and will have three years of eligibility at Missouri. He’s quick off the ball much in the same way that Shane Ray was, but needs to work on his play making ability when he stacks up against the much tougher SEC offensive linemen.
Natereace Strong (4* RB)- A teammate of Beckner, Strong is one of three running backs in the 2015 Tiger draft class. He is currently enrolled in junior college classes in an attempt to become eligible for the 2015 season and therefor did not sign a letter of intent. Just like his name says Strong is a strong back that uses both quickness and power to get up the field and has the potential to become the starting running back over the next couple of years.
Richaud Floyd (4* WR)- With the de-commitment of Brandon Martin, Floyd became the top wide receiver in this Tiger class. It’s always nice to see Pinkel and company recruiting in opposing SEC territory. Floyd is from Gulfport, MS and although he is undersized at 5-foot-11 his 4.4 40-yard dash is impressive. Floyd will play the slot position at wide out and has the possibility of playing right away considering the talent at the wide receiver position. As of now Nate Brown and J’mon Moore will likely start.
Ronnell Perkins (4* ATH) – Perkins, a native of St. Louis, intrigues me. His 6-foot-1 frame suggests he will probably be a defensive back another area where the tigers could use help. If Pinkel elected to put him on the defensive side of the ball he would lineup at safety, where as if he played offense he would be an undersized wide receiver.
T.J. Warren (4* ATH) – 5-foot-11, 185 pounds
Tyler Howell (4* OT) – 6-foot-8, 295 pounds
Chase Abbington (3* RB) – 6-foot-2, 209 pounds
Marquise Doherty (3* RB) – 6-foot, 201 pounds
Josh Moore (3* TE) – 6-foot-5, 250 pounds
Johnathon Johnson (3* ATH) – 5-foot-8, 174 pounds
Tyrell Jacobs (3* DT) – 6-foot-4, 260 pounds
Franklin Agbasimere (3* OLB) – 6-foot-2, 225 pounds
Cameron Hilton (3* ATH) – 6-foot, 175 pounds
Justin Smith (3* WR) – 6-foot-7, 190 pounds
Emanuel Hall (3* WR) – 6-foot-2, 191 pounds
Malik Cuellar (3* OT) – 6-foot-5, 295 pounds
Nate Howard (3* DE) – 6-foot-5, 220 pounds
Ryan Williams (3* RB) – 5-foot-11, 180 pounds
Corey Fatony (3* K) – 5-foot-11, 195 pounds
Tanner Owen (3* OT) – 6-foot-4, 251 pounds
Terez Hall (NR OLB) – 6-foot-2, 210 pounds
It remains to be seen if this truly is the best draft class in program history, but Tiger fans should certainly be pleased with all the talent Pinkel was able to bring in. The Missouri coaching staff has a track record of producing great talent with three-star players like Aldon Smith so I for one can’t wait to see what they can do with all these four-star commits.
Missouri begins practice March 10. The annual black and gold game is scheduled for April 18 at 4 p.m.
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