Missouri Tiger fans are painfully aware of the woes experienced by the football team due to injuries along the offensive line of their Tigers in 2012.
With line play always being important, and especially in the SEC, it is a good time that the in-state class for the upcoming 2014 recruiting season looks like one of the best in recent years.
One of the top offensive line prospects without an offer yet, but who is attracting interest from multiple colleges including Mizzou, is Liberty OG Jacob Francis 6'4"275 5.0 forty 29.5" vertical jump.
ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with Francis about how things are going early with recruiting.
Francis informed me the day we spoke about the Tiger coaches making a visit to his school.
"Coach Hill and Coach Pinkel were here at Liberty recently. They said they want me come up for the spring game, and to come check them out at their junior day on March 2nd," said Francis.
Jacob talked about his interest in Missouri football program.
"I love their program. My family is all Mizzou. I really like the coaches and the style of football the Tigers play. I use to live in Columbia for a while when I was younger. What I love most about their program is how they graduate 95% of their players. Academics is my main focus above everything. I plan on attending their camp this summer. They asked me about playing center. I have played left tackle, guard, H-back and even tight end, but not center. But I think I could do it."
I asked him to run down the other programs he is hearing from.
Illinois-"I have had recent contact from them. Coach Salem is recruiting me. I just went to their junior day this past weekend. I liked it a lot. I got to talk to the head coach personally and got to meet all the coaches. No offer, but they said that I’m very high on their list. I will be going back up there on March 9th."
Kansas- "KU coaches are coming to see me last week. I have been invited to their junior day and will be going on February 16th."
Baylor-“They have shown interest. I am still waiting to see when their junior day is.”
Iowa State-"I have been getting mostly letters from them."
Kansas State-"I went to a junior day event there back on December 1st. They have been in contact and sending me stuff."
Francis, who self- reports lift maxes of 320 pounds in the bench press, 525 pounds in the squat, and 290 pounds in the power clean, also plays baseball and played basketball up until this year.
He broke down his strengths and weaknesses as a player.
"I think my awareness on the field and knowing what to do. Seeing what to do before it unfolds. Also, my footwork, quickness and athleticism. I am a better pass blocker right now because of it. You can always get better at your technique and work on things," Francis said.
Jacob told me that he would like to make a college decision by sometime in December. He also said that the main thing in looking for a school would be getting a great education and having a good relationship with the coaching staff.
The Liberty product will be one to watch in the coming months as his recruitment picks up.