Recently, 2012 lineman Ondre Pipkins 6'4" 305 5.0 KC (MO) Park Hill took time to visit with ShowMeMizzou about his junior year, and about the early stages of his recruitment.
"It's going well," said Pipkins, in response to my question about how his junior year is going, after having just moved to Kansas City from Michigan last December. "I like the atmosphere, and I like the team. It's better than what I expected.................. I'm having fun. I'm having a lot of fun."
Pipkins plays every down at left offensive tackle, and splits time, playing half of the time, at nose guard on defense for his 3-2 Park Hill team. He indicated, in response to my query, that defense is his preference.
"I prefer defense," said Pipkins. "But right now, I'm in a position to where I need to help out my teammates. So, whatever the coaches see fit, that's where I play."
"I'm more of a three or five technique guy," continued Pipkins. "I like to play to the outside a little bit more. Usually when you're on the inside (at nose guard), you really can't move a lot. I like to use my athleticism to get to the outside."
Pipkins reported a vertical jump measured at 29", a maximum bench press of 345 lbs., with a personal best of 18 reps at 225 lbs.. His personal best in the hang clean is 270 lbs., and his maximum in the squat is 520 lbs.
Pipkins indicated that he has a verbal offer from Missouri, and is also being recruited by a host of other schools, including Alabama, Arkansas, Duke, Florida State, Iowa, LSU, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon State, and Texas A&M.
"The attention is great," said Pipkins. "But, it's not that big of a deal for me................. It doesn't make me a great player. I still have to play. Right now, I'm focusing on winning a state championship, and finishing high school, so that I can graduate, and go on to a good school."
Pipkins indicated that he plans to play basketball at Park Hill. He said that he really enjoys playing basketball. He also mentioned that he and his family are planning to attend the Missouri - Colorado game next week.
I asked Ondre about his college favorites. He said that he's keeping his options open, but named six schools that he likes, including Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Notre Dame.
Pipkins shared some of his thoughts about Missouri.
"It's a good school," said Pipkins. "It's a great program. I like it. I like the training facility. I like the school and the coaching staff."
Pipkins said that he's planning to visit Alabama or Arkansas, "just to see what some other places are like, and to keep (his) options open".
Regarding his criteria for choosing a college, Pipkins cited several factors.
"The education, basically," said Pipkins. "A winning program, as well as tradition, somewhere that I can come out of and be proud of it."
When I watched Ondre Pipkins play at Jefferson City last week, he was double-teamed on every play when he was on defense. He's a young player with a tremendous upside. He looks much more comfortable on the defensive side of the ball, where he often overcame the double-team, and still ranged across the field to make a play. As his high school coach pointed out, he's just learning how to play football.