Here is an early look at the Top 20 football prospects for the state of Missouri 2013 class, along with a Top 33 for 2013 Watch List overall of players with D1 potential.
The positioning of the prospects could be subject to change as I continue to evaluate them through the spring,summer and their senior seasons, and take those into consideration for final player rankings.
There is a good amount of depth as far as potential D1 prospects, including a good number of what could be called sleepers that I expect to step up and be known over the coming months.
Missouri Top 20 For 2013
Ezekiel Elliott 6'0" 200 4.4 St. Louis (MO) John Burroughs
-This speedy St. Louis tailback lead the Metro Area with 42 touchdowns rushing and receiving as a junior, and had over 2,200 total yards offense, including over 1,800 yards rushing. Just a great all around back that uses his great vision,speed and quickness to it's full advantage. A complete back that can run,catch and block. He is physical and will take on defenders or make them miss with a move and be gone to the house.The three sport athlete has won a state championship in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.1 in 2011, and came in 2nd in the 300 meter hurdles. He is also the 2nd leading scorer on his basketball team. If not for his exceptional offensive skill set, Elliott would have the makings of an elite caliber safety on the next level. Elliott is up to 16 early offers including Missouri, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Georgia, Arkansas and Nebraska among others.
Trent Hosick 6'2" 221 QB 4.65 Kansas City (MO) Staley
-After transferring in from Ozark (MO) and sitting out his sophomore year, all Hosick did was lead his new team to a perfect record and Class 5 state championship. He had over 3,500 yards total offense, and while he was primarily know for his running ability after rushing for over 2,000 yards and 30 scores, he also completed over 63% of his passes, and when asked to showcase his passing ability, did a very good job showing a strong, accurate arm. Also a state heavyweight champion wrestler, Hosick defines what teams look for as a leader and field general playing QB. He has all the tools you look for in a QB, and beyond that he has an "It" factor and is just a flat out winner. He has a strong, accurate arm, sees the field well, and can also beat you with his legs. His running ability is rare, and had drawn accurate comparisons to Tim Tebow. Trent hasn't lost a football game he was the starting QB of since the 5th grade. Great strength and athleticism… 375lbs bench press, 36" vertical and 4.6 forty time. Hosick has 12 early offers including Missouri, Baylor,Illinois, Iowa, Arizona State, Kansas State, Northwestern and Kansas among others.
Chase Abbington 6'4" 210 RB/S 4.49 Ft. Zumwalt (MO) South
-I first noticed Abbington's ability playing JV football where he stood out with his size, speed and overall athletic ability. He was a little thin, but has grown and filled out while continuing to improve on his athleticism. As a junior, Abbington ran for 1,469 yards while scoring 28 TDs, and showing the athleticism that had multiple schools such as Missouri, Arkansas, UCLA,Nebraska and others offering early in the hopes of landing him. Abbington is a true running back with very good vision,hips and speed. He has nice change of direction and is a long strider, who once he gets in the open field doesn't get caught. While he might be able to get stronger, he is also a tough runner between the tackles and is great in short yardage. On top of all that he has great receiving skills and is a big target for his QB. Committed to Missouri
Nick Ramirez 6'2" 230 4.6 LB Lee's Summit (MO) West)
- Ramirez caught my attention as a sophomore as he flew around the field trying to level anyone with a ball in the hand, especially on the blitz trying to get to the QB. Impressive size,speed combination who has gotten bigger,stronger and faster with a lot of hard work in the weight room and spots a 400lbs bench press. Ramirez had over 90 tackles as a junior and could play all three linebacker positions on the next level. Strong against the run, rushing the passer and can cover backs or tight ends in pass coverage. Ramirez has offers from Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Purdue and Illinois.
Jamone Boyd 6'4" 255 DE/DT 4.76 Lee's Summit (MO) West
-Ramirez's teammate has outstanding potential, athleticism and a high ceiling to get better as his football career continues. He only started playing football as a sophomore, and was injured part of that year. Great size, quickness and speed. Can play DE,DT or LB on the high school level, and was used as a tailback in short yardage situation where he became use to scoring touchdowns with the ball in his hand. Has the potential to play either DE or get bigger and move inside as a 3-technique defensive tackle. Has early offers from Missouri and Oklahoma State.
Antar Thompson 6'3" 265 DT 5.0 Maplewood (MO)
- Defensive tackles with his size,athleticism, speed and explosiveness don't come around every year. Thompson has a great motor, and plays with a bit of a violent streak whether it is on offense where he attempts to pancake his opponent on every play, or on defense where he uses his speed to disrupt plays in the backfield, get to the QB, or run down plays from the backside. Great hitter and tackler who almost launches his nearly 300 pounds into opponents. Antar has lost weight recently in the hopes of getting a shot at playing D-end in college, but he was a legit DT on the next level. The recent transformation he is attempting to defensive end along with some qualifying questions prevent him from being ranked higher. He has an early offer from Missouri and is hearing from Alabama and other SEC schools along with Kansas State.
Anthony Sherrils 6'1" 173 4.49 ATH Kansas City (MO) Hogan Prep
-Sherrils is another candidate for being one of the top athletes overall in the class. Sherrils sports a 37" vertical jump to go along with his sub-4.5 speed. He is very elusive with the ball in his hands running it or catching it. Also a strong return man. His running style reminds me of Anthony Pierson, though he isn't quite as fast. Sherrils is a dynamic receiver that can play in the slot or on the outside. He is a deep threat or medium range threat that can take it to the house after the catch on a short catch. Runs extremely well with the ball in his hands after the catch.Also a very good defensive back prospect. He could play cornerback, but prefers safety where he can roam around, cover ground and make plays and hit people. One of the top 3 athletes in the class overall . Committed to Missouri.
Corey Winfield 6'2" 185 4.45 WR Riverview Gardens (M0)
- Corey is one of the best athletes in the 2013 class overall, and self reports a 40" vertical jump. Also a standout in the long jump in track, he can broad jump 10 feet. Despite not really playing in a passing offense, Winfield is a dangerous weapon, and could earn the nickname "Helicopter" or "Harrier Jet" with his ability to elevate high into the air and catch passes, but also possessing sub 4.5 speed. Winfield averaged 20 yards per catch and scored 9 times on 27 pass receptions. He displays great hands and the ability to catch the ball away from his body. He also has strong hands and despite going up high for receptions, always comes down with the ball. Solid running routes and using his speed. Has an early offer from Northern Illinois and is being recruited by Missouri,Wisconsin, Illinois and Kansas State.
Brandon Minor 6'2" 230 4.6 LB St. Louis (MO) Chaminade
-Brandon burst on the scene as a freshman and led his varsity team in tackles with over 90. He is a big athlete who runs well, can cover a lot of ground and hits big. I also like him at running back. He is a big down hill runner, but he has good hips and is elusive for a big man running the ball. Very tough in short yardage. He has good hands and solid ability to cover in pass defense. Also a very good baseball player and has also played basketball. Was scouted by the Missouri baseball team last spring. Great athlete. Has an early offer from Kansas State and is being recruited by Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Missouri and others.
Zach Hannon 6'4" 298 5.1 OG/DT Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst
-Hannon is the most athletic offensive line prospect overall in the 2013 class. The big lineman has great quickness, runs well, uses good technique and sustains his blocks both against the pass rush and in the run game. His athletic ability allows him to get downfield and block and continue doing so until the play is over. Athletic enough to play Lacrosse for Rockhurst when not on the football field. Good strength with a near 400lbs bench press. Also has a 28" vertical jump and ran a 4.6 shuttle. Has offers from Missouri,Arkansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas and others.
Eric Beisel 6'3" 235 4.6 LB Rockwood (MO) Summit
- Beisel wins this years "Hammer" award as the biggest hitter in the class. When Beisel is coming at you he means business and always packs a wallop. Given his size, strength and ability to get quickly in the backfield and rush the QB, I could see Beisel growing into a defensive end on the college level with another 20-30lbs put on him. Very explosive and very good straight-line speed. Early offers from Missouri and Nebraska.
Aarion Penton 5'10" 175 4.48 WR/CB St. Louis (MO) CBC
- Penton is a jack of all trades for his Cadets both on offense and defense. He is a playmaker as a receiver, running backs, kick returner and as a cornerback. Penton is energetic blur of motion with the ball in his hands. He has an extremely high motor, and combined with his elusiveness, makes him a dangerous threat every time he touches the ball. He is just as good at cornerback, and might be even better at that position on the college level as he continues to get bigger. He has very good cover skills, and is a fearless hitter. His good balls skills and nose for the ball makes him a threat to return an INT or fumble for a score if he gets his hands on the ball. Committed to Missouri.
Harneet Gill 6'7"1/2 260 4.9 OT Francis Howell
-Gill had a great first year as a varsity starter earning first team All-State honors on one of the top offenses in the state. Gill has tremendous upside, and could possibly wind up as the top O-line prospect is all said and done. He has a great frame that could top out at 300lbs and still be lean and keep the athleticism that he displays. He does a great job of using his natural tools to keep his opponent in front of him, and does a great job both run and pass blocking. Despite being think looking, he has good strength and had a nice number of pancake blocks as a junior. He did a great job at the recent Elite Football Combine, and stood out among the top linemen in the 1 on 1's. Committed to Missouri.
Alec Abeln 6'4" 270 5.3 OG/C St. Louis University High
- Ablen first caught my attention at the Show-Me Combine last February. He weighed in that day around 290lbs, but despite that showed some very good athleticism and technique at that size and only being a sophomore. He had a great year on both offense and defensive for the Jr. Bills football team after slimming down and showed great explosiveness off the line on both sides of the ball. In fact, he may be the most explosive of the talented O-line me in this class. He is athletic and runs well on pulling plays. He gets out with a full head of steam and opens holes for his running backs. Also a very good pass blocker. He played left tackle last season, and showed a great kick step and pass protecting technique. Looking forward to seeing what a couple of years in the weight room do for him. Committed to Missouri.
Joey Burkett 6'3" 200 4.61 LB Jefferson City
- You probably won't find too many more athletic linebackers then Burkett, who is also a top pole valuator in the state. He uses the same speed and athleticism to his advantage on the football field where he flies around and makes plays from his linebacker position. Very physical, despite only being 200lbs, he plays bigger then that. He runs well and follows plays as they unfold, usually getting involved, which is why he was the second leading tackler on his team. He reminds me and others of former Mizzou Tiger Luke Lambert. Committed to Missouri.
Gabe Kuhn 6'5" 263 5.2 OT/OG Lafayette
- Kuhn had a very good year playing left tackle and defensive tackle for his Lafayette Lancers as a junior. Kuhn was possibly the most athletic offensive linemen at the recent Elite Football Combine held at Rams Park, among a group that also included Zach Hannon, Harneet Gill and Alec Ablen, as his testing numbers included running a 4.6 pro agility at 263lbs. Kuhn is also very good with his technique. His quickness really pays off with his pass blocking and on on pull plays. Gabe is an excellent pass protector, and he has possibly the best kick step of any offensive lineman on the high school level. He also displays good strength and tenacity, a good motor and doesn't give up on blocks until the whistle. He can play any of the line positions. He is hearing from Missouri, Illinois, San Diego State, Northern Illinois, Iowa and Kansas State at this point.
Jordan Willis 6'5" 230 4.5 DE Kansas City Rockhurst
-Willis is a defensive end with a tremendous upside that has decided to shut down his recruitment early by committing to K-State earlier this year after picking up an offer from them last summer while attending their camp. He recorded 14 sacks as a junior, although his father tells me it was more like 20. He is long and lean and comes off the edge very quickly. He is also very solid against the run, but is a little raw still. He self reports a 34" vertical jump. He will need to get stronger, but has a great frame and tools to work with. I think he could be pretty heavily recruited if he opened things up or attended a few more team camps. Committed to Kansas State.
Jack Kurzu 6'4" 290 5.4 St. Louis MICDS
-Big Jack moved back to St. Louis from Florida last summer, and immediately became a name I was made aware of. He also became a big reason for the Rams success on offense from his right guard position, which helped lead them to the Dome. He moves well for his size and is just a bulldozer with his run blocking, which he has displayed against some top competition, such as Antar Thompson. He is also a solid pass blocker, and is on the radar of schools such as Missouri, Auburn, Oklahoma State, Florida and Florida State among others. Has an early offer from Troy.
Chris Sutton 5'11" 170 4.45 Jefferson City
- Sutton is one of the most athletic football players you will find in the class. He is fast, athletic, vertical jumps 38.5 inches, benches 285lbs,squats 365lbs and power cleans 235lbs. He also recorded 92 tackles and 2 sacks from his safety position as a junior. While playing safety in high school, he projects as a cornerback in college, and looks to have the tools to play that position. Whatever school recognizes his talent will get a very good player. He attended Missouri's junior day and is hearing from Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas and others. I expect him to gain more attention this spring and summer. Especially after he camps at schools.
Derrick Mitchell 6'1" 175 4.5 WR/S Vashon
- Mitchell is another jack of all trades type player for the Wolverines as he played QB,WR,RB,S and KR for them as a junior. He is a very good athlete and competitor. He doesn't mind playing all of those roles and is a total team player. Derrick is a very good athlete who also excels on the basketball court. He has decent speed and good hands as a receiver. He runs well after the catch, and is a playmaker on defense from his safety position. Has early offers from Iowa and Kansas State.
Best of the Rest Watch List
Jason Nix 6'3" 220 4.5 Kansas City Rockhurst
- Could be the sleeper of the class. Missed most of season due to injury. Great athlete, speed strength combo. Self reports a 4.5 forty, 325lbs bench and 33" vertical. Very good coming off the edge. Should blow up at camps and as a senior. Has made junior day visits to Missouri and Kansas.
Donnie White 6'3" 215 DE 4.65 De Smet
- White's recruitment has begun to take off with recent offers from Arkansas and Western Kentucky. Schools such as Boston College, Arizona State and Tulsa have also shown early interest. Strong pass rusher off the edge.
A.J. Logan 6'2" 310 5.2 DT Rock Bridge
-Big defensive tackle has two early offers from Memphis and Northern Illinois. Moves well for his size and can clog the middle or make plays up field. Attended Missouri's junior day
Nick Wunderli 6'4" 300 5.2 OG/DT De Smet
-Nick will be a 3-year varsity starter. His recruitment is starting to get moving and he will be attending Illinois junior day this weekend. Also hearing from Michigan (Dad played there), Boston College and Kansas State
Tony Lashley 6'1" 225 4.6 LB Kansas City Rockhurst
-Another impressive linebacker in the 2013 class for the state of Missouri. Actually tested a little better then Michael Rose at the Elite Football Combine. Made junior day visits to Kansas and Missouri.
Dakota Brake 6'2" 280 5.08 DT Springfield Glendale
- Talented defensive tackle prospect is spending a lot of time in the weight room and getting bigger. Good quickness and athleticism to go along with his strength. Recently visited South Florida and has visited Missouri, Arkansas and others.
Craig Scott 6'1" 160 4.53 WR Park Hill South
- Scott may be the best pure receiver in the 2013 class. Runs great routes,has sure hands and does all the little things well. Impressive athleticism as he ran a 4.0 pro agility and vertical jumped 33 and a half inches along with his 4.53 forty time at the Elite Football Combine. Hearing from Pittsburgh, Arizona State, Kansas State, Kansas and Missouri.
Joe Gibson 6'3" 270 OG/C Kansas City Rockhurst
-Athletic offensive line prospect has visited Kansas and Missouri. Is getting looked at as a center in college.
Aren Martin 6'0" 185 4.5 WR/S Wayneville
-Speedy athlete has spent a lot of time in the weight room as of last. Stood out at the Elite Football Combine showing his added strength. Is getting looks at safety by Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas State and others.
Antwynn Beavers 5'8" 170 4.44 RB Liberty North
- Antwynn is a favorite of mine to watch. Great speed, but also is elusive and especially tough for his size. Not many smaller back run as hard between the tackles and can move players at 170lbs the way Beavers can.Rushed for over 2,000 yards as a junior. Is a player that could blow up this spring and summer. He will be attending Nike camp on June 3rd.
Kellen Ash 6'2" 193 4.56 LB/S Parkway South
-Very athletic defender with good speed who led the St. Louis metro area with 19 sacks as a junior. A bit of a tweener size wise who may play safety in college. 33" vertical jump. He has attended junior day at Missouri and Illinois.
PJ Patton 6'1" 230 LB Harrisonville
-Yet another very talented linebacker prospect from the Show-Me State in 2013. Runs very well and is a playmaker after moving to MLB from DE as a junior. Recently visited Kansas State's junior day.
Chance Woosley 6'8" 270 OT 5.4 Lighthouse Christian Academy
- Big, raw, athletic home schooled offensive lineman who is another top sleeper in the state. Chance came to the Elite Football Combine and held his own against other O-linemen there such as Gill,Kuhn, Hannon and Abeln. Vertical jumped 28 inches and repped 185lbs 16 times. Plans on attending Missouri and Kentucky team camps.