Pinkel lands junior college defensive end, loses out on in-state prospect

Defensive end Eddie Heard is the latest addition to Mizzou's 2014 recruiting class.

Photo Courtesy: Eddie Heard via Twitter

ST. LOUIS — Gary Pinkel and his Mizzou football program got some good news and some not-so-good news regarding recruiting in the past week, with the verbal commitment of a junior college defensive end but also the announcement that a top in-state prospect was headed elsewhere.


First, the good news.

Pinkel and Co. added one more piece to their recruiting haul this spring. Junior college defensive end Eddie Heard Jr. committed last week.

A 6-foot-4, 240-pounder from Laney College in Oakland, Heard picked the Tigers over scholarship offers from California, Washington and Oregon, according to

Heard announced his decision on Twitter.

Then Pinkel, in typical cryptic college coach fashion, did, too.

As a freshman in 2013, he was credited with 23 tackles, including seven for loss, four sacks, three pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble in 11 games last season as Laney went 8-3. Heard will have three years of eligibility remaining with Missouri.

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Heard gives the Tigers another defensive end to add to the mix behind starters Shane Ray and Markus Golden and backups Charles Harris and Marcus Loud. Mizzou signed three defensive ends in this recruiting class in Walter Brady, Rocel McWilliams and Spencer Williams.


And, the bad news.

Hale Hentges, a four-star tight end from Jefferson City Helias, made a verbal commitment to Alabama over the weekend.

Hentges, a 6-4, 230-pounder, is rated by Rivals as the No. 2 prospect in Missouri, the No. 6 tight end prospect nationally and the 164th-best prospect overall in the Class of 2015. Mizzou offered him a scholarship more than two years ago, when he was still a freshman in high school.

The Tigers are off to a strong start in recruiting with this 2015 incoming class, with four four-star prospects committed, but losing a player like Hentges to a fellow Southeastern Conference school is always tough for a coaching staff that has put in so much time and effort recruiting a player.

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UPDATED RIVALS RANKINGS released its updated rankings of the preseason top 15 Missouri prospects for the Class of 2015 on Tuesday.

Missouri has verbal commitments from three of the top nine on the list: Lee’s Summit quarterback Drew Lock (No. 3), Webster Groves wide receiver-defensive back Cam Hilton (No. 8) and Lee’s Summit West running back Ryan Williams (No. 9).

Three of the top eight prospects are still undecided.

No. 1 on the list is Columbia Rock Bridge wide receiver Alex Ofodile, who is ranked as the 12th-best wide receiver prospect and No. 126 overall on the Rivals250 list for 2015.

The other uncommitted prospects in the top seven are Winnetonka running back Marquise Doherty (No. 5) and Nixa running back Alec Murphy (No. 7). Doherty has a scholarship offer from the Tigers but Murphy does not, according to Rivals.

Including Mizzou’s three commitments, eight of the top 11 prospects on the list have pledged to either the SEC or Big Ten: Hentges (Alabama) at No. 2, Blue Springs defensive tackle Khalil Davis (Nebraska) at No. 4, Blue Springs defensive tackle Carlos Davis (Nebraska) at No. 6, John Burroughs running back John Moten (Northwestern) at No. 10 and Vianney tight end Kyle Markway (South Carolina) at No. 11.