Monday, February 11, 2008

Team Recruiting Countdown: No. 25 Missouri Tigers

Every week day for the next five weeks, Athlon Sports (otherwise know as me) will be counting down its top-25 recruiting classes. Today we begin with...

No. 25 Missouri Tigers (Big XII No. 5)

23 signees, 1 Athlon Consensus 100

Scouting Report:

Chase Daniel is heading into what should be an incredibly productive senior year with the Tigers. Gary Pinkel had to go out and get his signal caller of the future and he did just that. Of course, it helps that Ballwin, Missouri, quarterback Blaine Gabbert is likely the best quarterback prospect from the state of Missouri in quite sometime. To top it off, landing Gabbert was a double-edged sword as not only does Missouri get their guy but they stole him from Nebraska. Gabbert had been a Nebraska pledge prior to the coaching turnover in Lincoln.

The two other areas of concern were offensive line and secondary. This year’s class has five offensive line prospects including future left tackle Dan Hoch (Harlan, IA). Pinkel looked South to Texas to add defensive backs. Cornerbacks Kip Edwards (Arlington, TX) and Robert Steeples (St. Louis, MO) paired with the undersized and underrated safety combo of Kenji Jackson (Mansfield, TX) and Zavier Gooden (Pflugerville, TX) should give some needed depth to the defensive backfield.

Gary Pinkel and staff also did a great job of replenishing their offensive skill position players. The Tigers complex offense needs a lot of pieces and this class certainly affords options. Tight end Andrew Jones (Smithville, MO), former Wisconsin commit Wes Kemp (St. Louis, MO), wide receiver Rolandis Woodland (Cincinnati, OH) and dynamic athlete Gahn McGaffie (Galena Park, TX) all could be future play makers in the wide open Tigers’ attack.

Missouri continues to utilize the great state of Texas as the Tigers landed 11 prospects from the Lone Star state in the ’08 class.

Top Prospect:

Blaine Gabbert – QB – Ballwin, MO (6-5, 225)

Gabbert, AC100 No. 32, has prototypical size for the quarterback position. He has an arm that can make every throw in the playbook. He is patient and confident in the pocket. His mechanics are strong, and he has a nice, compact release. He is a very solid pocket passer.

His skills do not end there, however. Gabbert also is a nice athlete. He also shows a great ability to avoid pressure and move around in the pocket. He will be a nice fit in the Gary Pinkel spread look, where the quarterback has always been an impact player on the ground.

Gabbert played nearly his entire senior year with a shoulder injury. He was limited to only 102 pass attempts.

Best of the Rest:

Andrew Jones – TE – Smithville, MO (6-5, 225)
Dan Hoch – OT – Harlan, IA (6-6, 300)
Gahn McGaffie – ATH – Galena Park, TX (5-10, 170)
Wes Kemp – WR – St. Louis, MO (6-4, 220)
Aldon Smith – DE – Raytown, MO (6-6, 230)


Drew Temple – Kansas Ciy, MO (5-9, 190)

The younger brother of recently graduated Tony Temple, Drew Temple could end up being a star in Columbia. He runs much harder and tougher than his size would indicate. He is a solid blocker and a good pass catcher. Although not very big and without elite speed, Temple still possesses the perfect skill set needed to succeed in Pinkel’s spread offense.

No comments: