Missouri coach Gary Pinkel established a Lone Star State pipeline during the Tigers’ time in the Big 12 Conference. And for good reason. That’s where the talent was. Guys such as linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, passed over by Texas teams that had their pick of top talent, became stars.
Since the Tigers switched to the Southeastern Conference, it looks like Pinkel and Co. are taking the same approach and applying it to the land of retirement, sunshine and shuffleboard.
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The Tigers’ 2014 recruiting class, a group that is now at 19 players, welcomed its first running back this weekend. No surprise here. The kid is from Florida.
Trevon Walters of Manatee High School (Bradenton, Fla.) has told the Mizzou coaching staff he plans to come aboard next fall. The three-star recruit (5-foot-10, 189 pounds) is a starter at one of the nation’s best high school programs. He reportedly picked Mizzou over South Florida, Minnesota, Tulane, Toledo, Marshall, Georgia Southern and Florida International.
Five of the Tigers’ 19 2014 commits are now from Florida.
Last week, we mentioned that Mizzou coach Frank Haith locked down a highly talented high school recruit for the 2014 class, Jakeenan Gant out of Georgia. Haith claimed another player, this one for the more distant future, on Sunday.
It’s important because this one is from St. Louis.
Ronnie Suggs is a 6-6, 175-pound senior at Washington High School. He intends to enroll at Mizzou for the 2015-16 academic year after spending the 2014-15 school year at a prep school to improve his game. Nate Latsch of STLhighschoolsports.com reported the news. Suggs, currently a two-star recruit, reportedly committed to Mizzou over options that included SLU, VCU and Xavier.
Most of the top hoops talent in St. Louis usually gets away from the Tigers. Any progress Haith can make in the city is a good sign for fans of his team.
ENGLISH IN ITALY
Former Mizzou and Detroit Pistons guard Kim English has landed with a professional basketball team in Italy after he was waived by Detroit during the NBA summer league. English signed a one-year deal with Montepaschi Siena, the powerhouse team in the Italian League.
FRESHMEN ON THE FIELD
Mizzou’s depth chart for the first game of the season dropped today. Two true freshmen, defensive tackle Josh Augusta and cornerback Aarion Penton, appear. Pinkel likes to redshirt first-year players if they show the slightest sign of not being game-ready. While both in the duo are listed as third-string, chances are they wouldn’t be listed at all if they aren’t going to play.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Kim English is adjusting to life overseas. His comment on the photo below: “Ummm.. Guys. Excuse me!”
Follow Ben Frederickson on Twitter (@Ben_Fred), or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.