With the new year upon us it means that signing day for the class of 2011 is not that far off.
As time is winding down the Missouri Tigers continue to look for prospects that they feel can be high level athletes and contributors to fill out their class.
One such player who is on the Tigers radar screen to help close out 2011's recruiting is Trinity (TX) Euless OL/DL Nila (Kasitati) Kneubuhl 6'4" 277lbs 4.8 forty.
Kneubuhl, who committed to Baylor back in March of 2010, is a player the Tigers covet and are recruiting heavily.
ShowMeMizzou.com spoke recently with Trinity Euless Head Coach Steve Lineweaver about Nila to find out about his player and his recruitment.
"Nila is a heck of kid and player", said Lineweaver. "He did commit to Baylor way before the season ever started, but he has opened his recruitment back up. He has really come on his senior year. I know he took a trip to Hawaii over Christmas, and Oklahoma and Missouri really like him. Missouri is all over him.They want him. I don't know if OU has a spot for him, but they really like him,too."
Nila played TE/OL for Euless, but colleges project him as either an offensive or defensive lineman on the next level.
"He (Nila) made some big plays for us at TE", said Lineweaver." He has some great hands and he is also a punishing blocker, but I don't think he will play their in college. He will play along the line someplace on either side of the ball. Most schools see him as an offensive or defensive tackle. He is a young senior and even though he is up to 277 pounds now, he can get bigger. Nila will play wherever a coach wants him.He is just a great athlete and good kid."
Kneubuhl, who will visit Missouri later this month, is part of a large group of people from the Island areas of Tonga and Samoa who have immigrated to the DFW area since the 1960's.
Coach Lineweaver filled me in on the large number of players on his team with South Pacific heritage.
"The Mormon church set up missions in Tonga and the South Pacific islands, and after that, a lot of them came over here and settled in to the community. It's a nice place to work and raise a family. We are very lucky to have had that happen and have them here."
Knuebuhl, who is Tongan, comes from a large family who is very involved with his recruitment.
"He listens very closely to what his parents, especially his mother, have to say and they will help him pick where he will go to college."
Kneubuhl was named honorable mention All State in Texas 5A. He is a tremendous athlete with a high ceiling in football. Schools appear to be recruiting him as a player to be molded into an offensive or defensive line prospect. Trinity Euless was 15-1 in 2010 and lost in the 5A state final game this year to Pearland.
Trinity Euless also has several of the top junior prospects in the state of Texas.
ShowMeMizzou.com will continue to follow Nila (Kasitati) Kneubuhl's recruitment and keep you updated.