While the event is called junior day, you often see a few select sophomores or even freshman attend some of them.
One 2015 prospect who attended Mizzou's junior day this past Saturday, Winnetonka RB/S Marquise Doherty 6'1"190 (4.47 forty- 35" vertical) informed ShowMeMizzou.com that he has received a verbal offer from the Tigers on Thursday.
"I really enjoyed my experience there this past weekend, and I called Coach Hill to thank him for inviting me down there and letting him know that I had a good time and appreciated it," said Doherty. "We had some small talk, and then he said that they (Missouri) would really like me to come play there and that I had an offer. He said that they watched my film and thought I was a great playmaker."
The big play running back/safety was a caught a little off guard, but very happy with the news.
"I was definitely shocked that it came this early, but I was very excited. It's a great honor to get an offer from Missouri, and especially coming from a great coach like Coach Hill, who has coached so many great players before. To have him think that much of me. Coming from him was a great honor, "said Doherty.
I was curious as to what the sophomore speedsters response was?
"I told him that it's something I will have to consider for down the road. I mean, Missouri is a great university, has a great campus. I like the coaches and the feeling I get there. That it's like a family and that every one is a close knit group. Mizzou is a school that I for sure will seriously consider. I have grown up watching their game on TV, and all my family and friends are Mizzou fans. So, they are definitely a school I will consider down the road," he said.
Doherty, who seems very mature and articulate for his age, spoke about why he saw recruiting as something he wanted to put off focusing on.
"Being only 16 I appreciate the offers and the attention, but my number one focus is on school and grades, because without that, there is no football. I will have time to focus on recruiting. I do plan on making a spring ball trip to Mizzou, but I have two older brothers who went D1 in college, and I have learned from their experiences. I don't want to make any mistakes. I don't want to make an early commitment only to have to back out on it. My plan is see how good I can make myself in the classroom and on the football field, and hopefully grow and mature more before I make my decision so that I know it's the right one. I will wait and see who else offers and explore my options for the best one for me, and then make my decision," said Doherty.
The conversation returned to Doherty's junior day experience at Mizzou.
"It was a really good experience. We got to meet the coaches and get a tour of the athletic facility and meet with position coaches. They talked to us about what they look for in recruits and players. Then we met with our area recruiter. He went over how the process works and how some might have offers but that if you don't have an offer now it doesn't mean you won't get one. After that we went to the Mizzou basketball game against LSU and then we left. It was really good,"he said.
Marquise then spoke about how he appreciated the honesty of Coach Hill, who told him that Missouri already had another offer out to a 2015 running back when he told him of his offer today.
"I think it was great that he was upfront and honest about it. However, I wouldn't expect any university to only recruit me, or think they would only recruit one player at my position. Competition does nothing but push you and make you better. So, I am fine with it," he said.
While Doherty said that specifics of where he might play did not come up in the conversation with Coach Hill, he said that he would be fine playing wherever he helped the team to succeed.
"In college, I would prefer to be used offensively, but if my coaches needed me or thought I could help more at safety, then I would be fine with that. It's not about stats or about me. If we are a bowl contender every year and win every year, then everybody is happy. It's about the team."
I reported on Marquise Doherty at Missouri's one day camp last June, and listed him as one of the top underclassmen there on the day. He is an explosive running back with good vision, quickness and acceleration in the open, something that comes from his track background. He does a good job using his vision and quick feet on cutbacks that develop into long runs.He is also a playmaker at safety with good ball skills and sure hands which result in picks. He told me that he wants to continue to work on his lateral quickness and strength in the future.
ShowMeMizzou.com will continue to follow and update his recruitment and development as a player.