It's time to take another trip into the Zou Zone where we give you a rundown of the very latest inside info on recruiting.
It is a huge weekend in the world of football recruiting for the Missouri Tigers. They are hosting three official football visitors for the weekend, one commit and two undecided prospects.
Plus, they will be having anywhere from 50 to 100 local and out of state kids in for their first junior day event of 2011.
First, the official visitors.
Lee's Summit QB Corbin Berkstresser, who was the class of 2011's very first commitment, committing way back in September of 2009.
Corbin has not received anywhere near the attention he deserves because he committed so early. The Tigers locked on to his abilities way before anyone else and it took him out of the recruiting talk for a long time. He had a great senior season leading his team to their best season and a playoff run where they were narrowly defeated by eventual Class 5 champion Lee's Summit West. The 6'4"230lb signal caller threw for over 260 yards per game, finishing the year with 3,383 yards, 36 touchdowns and only 6 INTs while completing over 61% of his passes. He also ran for almost 700 yards and 12 more touchdowns. Look for Corbin to be an added recruiter for the other visitors.
The most intriguing player visiting this weekend is Trinity (TX) Euless Athlete Nila Kneubuhl 6'4" 277lbs. Nila played TE for Euless and was a devastating blocker and clutch receiver in some situations for them. He helped them go deep into the Texas HS playoffs.
Nila is getting looked at by the Tigers as either and offensive linemen or defensive tackle. He has good size,athleticism and is an aggressive player. Something the Tigers are looking for and willing to try and develop to one of the positions mentioned.
Knuebuhl is still considered a Baylor commit since he has never officially de-committed from them, however he did not make his official visit that was scheduled there last weekend. Instead he visited Utah, a school that has told he he could continue to play TE. It also helps Utah that they have a large group of South Pacific Islanders there, along with the sizeable Mormon population. As we told you in an earlier article on Nila, his family is part of a large Tongan population that converted to Mormonism and relocated to Trinity (TX).
It looks like it may come down to a Utah vs Missouri decision.
I have to wonder how a Tongan from Texas will appreciate our winter wonderland this weekend.
Kasitati Kneubuhl could likely be the final piece to the 2011 Tiger football recruiting class.
The third visitor on the official list is Alief (TX) Hastings DT Chris Cormier 6'3" 295lbs. We have been talking about Cormier's interest in the Tigers since early December. Chris is a super talented D-lineman with great size and athleticism. He told me that he ran a 4.9 forty at 320lbs. He was also named a finalist for defensive player of the year by the Houston Touchdown Club.
Cormier has flown under the radar after transferring from Louisiana.
While there is little doubt that Cormier wants to be a Tiger, Chris has told us for well over a month that Missouri was his top school, the situation with him will be his test score and overall academic situation. He is more likely then not to have to attend a junior college.
While he will probably try to commit to the Tigers this weekend, the question is, will they accept it? At this point it isn't known if the Tigers would actually accept his commitment and sign him knowing that Juco is the most likely path for him. Or, do they just have a verbal agreement that he comes to Mizzou after Juco with it not being a sign and place situation.
The talent is there. The academic situation does not appear to be, which is why he is not more heavily recruited at this point.
The bottom line is that Chris wants to be a Tiger. The question is how and when?
The other option still out there is Le'Raven Clark. Clark visited back in December, but word has been pretty mum on what he will do. He also visited TCU and Baylor. He is less likely at this point to be in the final picture.
We told you earlier this week that Kellen Jones was contacted by the Tigers to see if there might be interest, but Kellen told them about solidifying his commitment to Michigan and their new head coach.
Rumors spread around that the Tigers went hard after Anthony Pierson before he committed to KU. Not true.
Sheldon Update: As of today Sheldon is still not enrolled at Missouri. He has until January 25th to enroll and that is still a possibility. What we have learned is that the problem isn't an academic one. Sheldon reportedly took care of all of his school work needed. The problem seems to be an administrative one. It seems to be a transcript transfer situation. Anyone who has been to college knows that you need to have all fines,fees and tuition paid before transcripts can be released. I am not saying this is the exact situation,but it gives you an idea of what I mean by administrative. It sounds like it might require a trip out there by Sheldon to clear it up.
What we do know is that Sheldon will be at Mizzou by June 1st at the latest.
The Tigers will be holding it's junior day tomorrow January 22nd. A large group of kids are expected.
We have identified as many as 48 Missouri kids have been invited, as well as players from Texas,Oklahoma,Ohio, Kansas,Indiana and Illinois.
The biggest target appears to be Ohio QB Maty Mauk who informed us of his plans to attend.
Mauk threw for an outrageous 5,670 yards and 69 touchdowns as a junior. He averaged 436 yards passing per game and completed 65% of his passes for Kenton (OH) high school.
Maty said that the only junior days he planned on attending would be Missouri's and Notre Dame's. Right know it is looking like it will come down to a battle between those two schools for his services.
The other top 2012 QB target who the Tigers have already offered, Gunner Kiel, informed us that he will not be attending. Gunner said that he is not attending any junior days and will not be focusing on recruiting at this time. We have a full story on him coming.
Some other very talented quarterback prospects have confirmed to us about their plans to be at the Tigers junior day.
Mustang(OK) QB Brandon Taylor 6'2" 205lbs caught my eye down at the Tigers one day camp in Springfield last summer with his skill he displayed throwing the ball.
The talented lefty threw the ball over 400 times his junior year for over 3,600 yards and 36 touchdowns against 12 INTS.
Brandon told me last week that he visited the Tigers on an unofficial last season and is high on the Tigers program.
The local headliner will be Edwardsville (IL) DT Vincent Valentine 6'4" 315 who we reported on this week as going to attend and telling us that Mizzou is right there as one of his top schools.
One name who will not be attending is Springfield Hillcrest all-everything WR Dorial Green-Beckham. Dorial will not be attending any junior day events this year and has put any recruiting talk on hold until May, instead focusing on school and his basketball season.
Things have gotten crazy with his recruitment with over 25 offers from coast to coast. Rumors run rampant, all of which are false. To avoid some of the craziness Dorial is being allowed to enjoy his high school year and will start thinking about his recruitment this summer.
Others who have confirmed they will attend include:
DeSmet WR Durron Neal.
Lee' Summit West OL Evan Boehm will be attending if his wrestling schedule permits.
Park Hill DT Ondre Pipkins.
Parkway North LB Donavin Newsom
MICDS LB Michael Scherer
Ritenour DT Edmond Ray
Rockhurst LB Michael Rose
Lee's Summit RB King Frazier
Rock Bridge TE Austin Ray. Austin was at Iowa's junior day last week and received an invite from LSU for their junior day on Feb 5th. The local product would like to stay close to home and hopes for a Tiger offer soon. Look for him to continue to rise. OU reportedly is starting to show more serious interest.
DeSmet WR/S Kevonn Mabon
Staley RB Morgan Steward
Ladue WR Jehu Chesson
Actually, it should be a big turn out from the Missouri kids.
A large group of the Class 6 champion Rockhurst Hawklets will there, including LB Alex Bales, RB Jordan Walker, OT Christian Eatherly, NG Trey Randle, QB Nick Jones and NG Zion Gonzales.
Randle is a little undersized at 6'2' 235lb, but very quick and could possibly play LB on the next level.
Jones maybe the best Missouri HS QB who did not start last year. It is a battle between him and Eric Siebenshuh from Francis Howell.
Jefferson City will have multiple players there including RB/S Devon Moore, Ath Michael Washington and OT Billy Brehe.
Some other instate kids who have confirmed they will be coming are Michael Mienert 6'3" 275 OG/DT St. Joseph Central, Brandon Sheperd 6'2" 185 WR/S Parkway Central, WR Brandon Smith 6'2" 175 WR, QB Drew Hare 6'2" 190 FZW, WR Kyle Echols 6'2"175 FZW, Gavin Rainwater 6'3" 280 DT Neosho.
WR/S Tre Parmalee 5'10" 170 Bishop Miege, KS, whose Dad is former NFL and current Chief assistant Bernie Parmalee, confirmed to me that he will be attending. The younger Parmalee was a big part of Miege's offense catching 68 passes for almost 1,000 yards. He also had 6INTs from his safety position on defense. He visited KU's junior day last weekend. He has a chance to be one of the more heavily recruited prospects on the Kansas side in KC.
We will get a rundown from all the prospects on their junior day experience.
I am not sure if any verbal offers will be extended or not. Usually the staff has meetings afterwards to decide on who they wish to offer.
Two players who who have mentioned to me about possibly being early commits to the Tigers are Donavin Newsom and King Frazier. Newsom has an early offer. Frazier is hoping for one.
A few recruiting updates on some players from 2011 that subscribers have been asking me about.
* Conrrad Nichols DL Raytown- Conrrad told me that he currently has DII offers from Indiana St.,Western Illinois and North Dakota St. He said that Nebraska has come around lately and talked about a possible grey-shirt situation.
* Tony Robinson DE Lindbergh –Tony currently has offers from Washburn, SEMO and Murray State. Mizzou has recruited Tony, but grades are an issue. Tony is weighing his options of picking one of the smaller schools or heading to Juco to possibly play D1 ball, with Mizzou being a school of interest to him if he does that.
Lindbergh has another very talented DE named Chris Collins, who is originally from Columbia (MO). Collins 6'6" 265 is likely headed to Arizona Western C.C.
* Cortland Dunlop LB Hazelwood Central- Cortland tells me that he is still open, but that right now it looks like Northern Illinois,SIU-C and Murray State.
*Carl Miller DT Parkway North- Carl has a world of talent and with his size of 6'3' 300lbs I can see why Kansas State is placing him at Hutchinson, C.C.
One of the top prospects in the class of 2013 Chaminade LB Brandon Minor 6'2" 230lbs could be the Tigers first in-state commit from that class if he gets an early offer. The Tigers are way out in front as Minor's favorite team. He is also very close with 2011 Tiger commit Brandon Hannah.
2013 QB Alert: Keep an eye on Grandview QB Ryan Lee 6'3" 185lbs. Ryan could be the next big time QB prospect from the state if he continues to progress.
2014 Prospect Alert: Darrell Monroe 6'2" 210 DE/LB Caruthersville (MO. Monroe could be the next big thing out of the bootheel. The super athletic freshman recorded 63 tackles and 11 sacks on defense. He also averaged 13 yards per carry in limited duty at running back. Darrell is also the leading scorer for his basketball team this year and has been a standout on the AAU scene as a swingman. I do not know if he has the growth potential to be another Kony Ealy, but he reminds me a bit of him in the path he is following in both sports. In football he might be more of a William Moore type unless he grows more.