When you're competing with the likes of Oklahoma out of the Big 12 and Alabama from the powerful Southeastern Conference for a highly touted high-school football recruit, you're probably not going to win out very often, even if the prospect in question is from your home state.
Not to be denied, coach Gary Pinkel and his staff at Missouri received a verbal commitment on Tuesday from highly regarded offensive lineman Evan Boehm, who will be a senior this fall at Lee's Summit West. Boehm is rated as the No. 3 recruit overall in the state of Missouri by Rivals.com and the third-best offensive guard in the nation in the 2012 recruiting class by the same service.
The Missouri athletic department has not made an official announcement regarding Boehm, but the boy's father, Royce Boehm, confirmed the commitment for PowerMizzou.com.
Very recently, the Lee's Summit West offensive lineman was thought to be leaning heavily toward Oklahoma crimson and cream over Tiger black and gold, and he also was considering offers from Alabama, Nebraska, Auburn and Iowa.
A one-day football camp a week ago in Liberty, Mo., apparently is what swayed the decision the Tigers' way over the other elite national programs. "They have the best coaching staff I've seen. I can tell that they are Missouri Tigers," Boehm said at the time.
Although not a binding commitment until National Signing Day next February, the verbal declaration from Boehm raises Missouri's total commitments for the 2012 recruiting class to 10.
Boehm, rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals, actually was the second football commitment picked up by Missouri on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Rivals' three-star defensive back Kentrel Brice of Ruston, La.
With the commitments on Tuesday from Boehm and Brice, Missouri has gained five commitments in the past week. Two three-star linebackers from St. Louis and a three-star offensive lineman from Houston also gave oral commitments.
Missouri also is in the running for the state's top recruit, Dorial Green-Beckhman, a wide receiver from Springfield Hillcrest High School. The state's No. 2-rated player, also a wide receiver, Durron Neal of St. Louis DeSmet, has given an oral commitment to play at Oklahoma.
Gary Pinkel wasn't the only Tiger coach busy bringing in new talent on Tuesday, new basketball coach Frank Haith announced that 6-5 Auburn guard Earnest Ross has decided to transfer to Missouri. Ross played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Auburn, where he was the team's leading scorer this season, averaging 13.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
The Auburn transfer will have to sit out the 2011-12 season, but will be eligible to play in the 2012-13 season. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
About having to sit out his first year at Mizzou, Ross said: "I'm going to look at it as a positive thing. I'll be working hard, working on my weaknesses. In order to win, you've got to get better. I want to get better and improve on my game to help this team win," he said.
Ross, who is froim Raleigh, N.C., said the facilities and the fan support at Missouri were big factors in his decision to transfer. Also, the way the players and the coaches treated him and his mother as if they were family when they visited the school. "That was a big thing for my mom," he said.