Missouri stole the headlines on national signing day when they received a letter of intent from the No. 1 recruit in the nation, Dorial Green-Beckham.
The impact of signing DGB has been talked to death by every analyst, including myself, so why don't we stop and take a look at the rest of the highlights of Missouri's 2012 recruiting class.
The next best player in Missouri's class is largely agreed upon as offensive lineman Evan Boehm, who hails from the St. Louis area. Rivals.com has him listed as a guard, but Scout thinks he projects more as a center. Either way, Boehm is a mauler and rated as a four-star player by Rivals. After a decommitment to take a visit to Auburn, Boehm recommitted to the Tigers in late 2011 and stayed firm until he signed he was the first player to send his LOI to the Missouri coaches this morning.
Boehm should have an early shot at starting, or at least contributing in a rotation like the Tigers used this season. Missouri lost two starting guards, Jayson Palmgren and Austin Wuebbels, to graduation after this season, so there will be a gap to fill there at both starting spots. Gary Pinkel has changed his style recently and has begun letting his offensive lineman compete for jobs as freshman, so Boehm should have a fair shot this summer.
After Boehm, the rest of the recruits are ranked as either 3- or 2-star players by Rivals. While the Tigers have done well with these types of players in recent years, it would be nice for Mizzou fans to see the number of 4- and 5-star recruits continue to escalate as they go into the SEC.
Maty Mauk, a 3-star quarterback from Ohio, was an early commit for the Tigers and never wavered in his decision. After he committed in July, he went on to set national records for career passing yards (18,932), touchdowns (219) and completions (1,353). Not too shabby for a guy who checks in at 6-foot-2 and a light 185 pounds. Mauk will get the needed time to develop under James Franklin for two years and, if he earns it over current players like Corbin Berkstresser, will have the opportunity to start as a redshirt sophomore.
On the defensive side of the ball, Missouri claimed a number of high-end 3-star defensive backs (Torey Boozer, Levi Copelin and Chaston Cuffe), but their highest rated recruit on defense was St. Louis linebacker Donavin Newsom. Checking in at a healthy 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Newsom will most likely play inside linebacker for the Tigers and use his exceptional strength and speed to lead the defense.
Finally, the last commitment the Tigers received was from a two-star defensive tackle out of Hersey, Pa., Harold Brantley. It seems like Missouri always makes one late, under-the-radar addition to every class that ends up being one of the better gets each year (L'Damian Washington in 2009, Jacquies Smith in 2008). Brantley looks like he could be that guy for the class of 2012. As a 2-star recruit, he didn't get much attention and was committed to play at Syracuse before announcing his intention to be a Missouri Tiger on January 29. Still, he has a lot of size (280 pounds) and could command a lot of attention in the middle of a stout defensive line.
According to Rivals, the Tigers signed 18 players, 15 of which were rated as 3-star players (one each of 2- 4- and 5-star players). Missouri never blows experts away with the number of high-rated players they receive, but they still somehow have 48 wins in the last five seasons and will only gain recruiting traction in the south with their move to the SEC.
The signing of DGB will mean a lot for the future of Missouri recruiting, but when taking a general look at how Missouri did this year, you don't feel too blown away by all the other pieces they added. All in all, it was an average class to slightly above-average class.
Grade: Solid B