Part 1: Which current commits will help Missouri in 2016?
As currently constituted, Missouri has a small 2016 recruiting class (12 public commitments). There are still a few weeks until National Signing Day on Feb. 3. Mizzou will undoubtedly pick up multiple pledges before that point.
It does seem prudent to look at the current crop of pledges for Barry Odom and his staff. At first glance, there are four with the potential to impact the squad in 2016. Two of the aforementioned quartet hail from the junior college ranks.
Here is a look at these two current commitments with the ability to impact the roster immediately in ’16:
RB Natereace Strong
A one-time signee for the program, Strong ultimately ended up at Hinds Community College in Mississippi. Strong was a high school teammate of current Missouri player Terry Beckner Jr. — hailing from East St. Louis High School.
Strong will potentially fit a big need from a position standpoint. All-everything running back Russell Hansbrough has departed for the NFL. Mizzou running backs ran to the tune of a paltry 3.5 yards-per-carry average. Ish Witter led the team with only 518 yards rushing on 126 carries.
As a result, there’s a potentially big opportunity for 6’1", 211-pound Rivals.com 4-star back to make an impact the moment he steps on campus.
DB Greg Taylor
Also hailing from Hines Community College, Taylor will come to Columbia with a shot at solidifying a position within the secondary.
2015 starters Kenya Dennis and Ian Simon have graduated — as has reserve Cortland Browning. Also an East St. Louis High School product, Taylor is an absolute fireplug from the safety position at 5’10", 205 pounds. He plays with relentless aggression, and packs a punch when coming up on run support.
As is the case with any junior college player, both Strong and Taylor will contend for playing time right away under Odom and the new staff.