Highly rated football prospect Ofodile picks Oregon over Mizzou
JUN 25, 2014 9:00a ET
The Mizzou football program got off to a strong start with recruiting following the Tigers' turnaround 12-2 season, but Gary Pinkel and Co. got some bad news this week -- especially considering one of the players in question was a local boy with strong Missouri ties.
Standout wide receiver Alex Ofodile, from nearby Columbia Rock Bridge High School, has committed to the University of Oregon.
Mihir Bhagat of KOMU-TV in Columbia broke the news via Twitter early Tuesday afternoon and the coveted wide receiver retweeted him.
BREAKING: Alex Ofodile told me he's verbally committed to The University of Oregon— Mihir Bhagat (@MihirBhagat) June 24, 2014
Ofodile told Bhagat that his final five schools, in no particular order, were Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Mizzou.
Ofodile on Oregon: It was a great fit. They're in the national championship hunt every year. And I think I can get on the field early— Mihir Bhagat (@MihirBhagat) June 24, 2014
Yeah, this one hurts for the Tigers.
Especially coming on the heels of Jefferson City (Mo.) Helias High School tight end Hale Hentges committing to Alabama last month.
Ofodile and Hentges, both four-star prospects, were rated by Rivals.com as the No. 1 and No. 2 prospects, respectively, in the state of Missouri.
No. 3 on that list is Lee's Summit quarterback Drew Lock, who committed to the Tigers in early April and spoke about trying to talk Ofodile and Hentges into joining him in Columbia.
That obviously hasn't worked out.
Ofodile's commitment to the Ducks cuts deeper because he's a local kid and his father, A.J., played tight end at Missouri in the '90s.
The younger Ofodile, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder, is rated by Rivals as the 12th-best wide receiver prospect and the 126th-best prospect nationally in the Class of 2015 -- the kind of player who could make a major impact.
Ofodile's potential value to the Missouri program went beyond his talent. Had he elected to stay in his home state to play his college football -- just like high-profile recruits Blaine Gabbert, Sheldon Richardson and Dorial Green-Beckham did -- he could have set the stage for future top in-state recruits to consider Columbia as a destination.
Instead, with Ofodile and Hentges leaving the state, Missouri missed two opportunities to retain top talent and sell that message.
No, it's not like those two players picked Kansas over Missouri. They went to two strong national programs.
But it still hurts a Tigers program that is forever fighting to compete with the best teams in college football, especially since the move to the Southeastern Conference.