With the 2013 high school football season kicking off tonight, It is time for my annual pre-season Missouri football prospect rankings.
Here is a look at the best of the class of 2014.
1. Markel Smith 5'11" 210 RB St. Louis (MO) Vianney 4.48 forty
- Smith is looking to finish his amazing high school career on a high note after rushing for over 2,500 yards and 30 TDs as a junior. Smith, who was physically ready for college as a junior, will be entering his 4th year as the starting running back for the Griffins. Smith is the total package at running back using speed, power, elusiveness and receiving ability to get the job done. He has great feet and quickness, and despite running low and being able to power through and out of tackles, Markel can make defenders look bad in an open field when attempting to tackle him. Add a 500lbs plus squat and 34" vertical to his sub-4.5 forty time and you have a real weapon that translates well to the college game. Uncommitted. Looking at Iowa, Ole Miss, Missouri, Nebraska and others.
2. Brian Wallace 6'6" 302 OT St. Louis (MO) CBC 5.2 forty
- Brian Wallace is the top offensive line prospect in what is a deep and very talented group in the state for 2014. He is the complete package of athleticism and technique, along with having the quickest feet and footwork, and still has a high ceiling left to reach. Still, he would be the offensive lineman most likely to be ready to play right away from among the top in-state linemen in the state for 2014. I have watched Wallace since he was an eight grader, and the work he has put in and dedicated to get better has been amazing to see. Great feet, uses his hands very well, aggressive run blocker and strong pass blocker with a very good kick step. Wallace could play either tackle spot or guard in college. Uncommitted. Looking at Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and others.
3. Roderick Johnson 6'8' 330 Hazelwood Central 5.3 forty.
- You don't find many players Roderick Johnson's size who can move as well as he does or are as athletic as he is, which is one of the reasons he is among the most sought after players in this years class. Johnson does a good job of engaging defensive linemen, staying in front of the, and is quick off the ball. He is a strong run blocker and continues to improve in his pass blocking. He has a tremendous upside and has the drive and determination to succeed at the next level once he breaks his body down and builds it back up. Uncommitted. Looking at Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State, Missouri and others.
4. Renell Wren 6'6" 250 DE Lutheran North 4.68 forty.
- Wren is one of the top athletes in the class overall. His story is one you have heard about a lot in recent years, a talented big athlete who loves basketball and sees themselves playing that sport first, who starts playing football and realizes that their athletic abilities translate even better in that sport. Renell had a strong junior season playing DE/OT at 220lbs and showcasing his speed, quickness and athleticism. In the off season, he dedicated himself to becoming a better football player and getting bigger and stronger. That paid off with Wren running a 4.66 and vertical jumping 34" at 239lbs at the Elite Football Combine early in the year. Now he is up to 250lbs and ready to show his improvement on the football field. He is long and lean with a quick first step and long arms that his uses to his advantage. His upside is high and he could develop a similar type of player as some other Missouri defensive ends we have seen in recent years if he continues on his current path. Schools such as Nebraska, Missouri, Arizona State and others have taken notice and offered him. Uncommitted.
5. Jonathan Bonner 6'4" 250 DE Parkway Central 4.8 forty.
-Bonner showed flashes of his potential as a sophomore when I watched him. He excelled during Missouri's one day camp that following summer, and really had a breakout season as a junior both on offense at TE where he averaged 21.9 yards per catch and 7 TDs in only 12 receptions, and had 70 tackles and 12 sacks from his DE position. Bonner, like Wren, also stood out at the Elite Combine showing his quickness, explosion and strength in the one on ones, while also showing his athleticism with a 36" vertical jump at 249lbs. While he picked up double digit offers before the summer, it was his performance at camps that made schools such as Mizzou and Notre Dame take notice and offer. Committed to Notre Dame.
6. Andy Bauer 6'4" 300 OG De Smet 5.2 forty.
- Bauer is another prospect in this years class who burst on the scene as a true freshman and was dominant on the varsity level. Andy has unique quickness and is used his superior technique and aggressiveness to it's full potential over the first three years of his high school experience to be among the best linemen in the area. He has some of the quickest feet you will find at his size and can really get out on blocks down field and when pulling. It's a shame he will miss his entire senior season due to injury. Committed to Ole Miss.
7. Kendall Blanton 6'7'" 242 TE Blue Springs South 4.8 forty.
-The first thing I noticed about Kendall Blanton following his sophomore year at a camp was his height, which was 6'6". The second thing I noticed was his receiving skills in drills. He didn't drop a single pass. He also ran extremely well for a young man his size. Following his junior year the Missouri Tigers offered him and he accepted. After seeing him again in camp this past summer it was easy to see why. Blanton is one of the top big athletes you will find not only in Missouri, but anywhere. He still has great hands and runs well, but only now it is at 6'7" and 242lbs. He has good bloodlines with his father being a former NFL player, but most impressive is the athleticism which Blanton displays. It is that of a much smaller player with his body control and quickness he uses to run in certain drills. His upside is huge at the TE position for Missouri. Committed to Mizzou.
8. Dalvin Warmack 5'8" 190 RB Blue Springs 4.47 forty.
-Warmack's size may have been a concern to some teams considering offering him, but his athleticism, speed and skill set are the real deal. Not only that, but he has worked in the off season to make himself bigger and stronger and gotten up to 190lbs while keeping his forty time in the 4.4's. Dalvin uses his lack of height to his advantage in keeping low and getting behind his linemen, making himself hard to fight and then accelerating into openings for big gains. Warmack won a skills competition at the RunIt Performance event in St. Louis that really opened some eyes to his ability. Following that he picked up offers from K-State, Missouri and Kansas before picking the Wildcats. Committed to Kansas State.
9. Raymond Wingo 5'11" 174 CB SLUH 4.38 forty
-Speed kills, and Raymond Wingo has plenty of it! Likely the fastest prospect in the 2014 football class, Wingo is a playmaking threat on both sides of the ball and special teams. He'll play QB,WR and CB, along with returning kicks and punts. A dangerous return man, Wingo could go the distance at any time. Raymond tells me he will play defense in college. Besides his tremendous speed, he is also a very physical tackler and has good coverage and ball skills. Michigan State, Arkansas,Nebraska, Tennessee, Illinois and others are in the mix for him. Uncommitted.
10. Monte Harrison 6'2" 200 WR Lee's Summit West 4.5 forty.
- Harrison is possibly the top multi-sport athlete in the state for 2014. Football, baseball, basketball. His overall athleticism allows him to excel in all the sports. The possibility is there that he may never play college football since he is getting looked at by major league baseball. A very good possession receiver and playmaker for the Titans. He looks bigger and stronger entering his senior season.
11. Logan Cheadle 5'10" 172 CB Lee's Summit West 4.44 forty.
- Cheadle likely belongs in the top 10 players, but there is only so many spots. Logan has great cover skills and is a hawk for the ball when it is thrown in his area. Most teams have learned this and do not throw to his side of the field. While he put in work in the weight room to get up to his current weight in order to have Missouri offer him, Cheadle was a physical corner and big hitter and tackler when he was smaller. One of the best cover corners you will find on the high school level. Great athleticism with a 38.5" vertical. Committed to Missouri.
11.Rafe Peavey 6'1' 200 QB Bolivar 4.6 forty.
- Rafe is a talented QB prospect who has caught the attention of many colleges at different events around the country. A good athlete with a solid arm and good accuracy. Rafe also has good running skills and does a good job throwing on the run and out of the spread. He committed to Arkansas early, but took a look around after their coaching change to make sure he was making the right decision. Committed to Arkansas.
12. Jordan Ragsdale 6'5" 260 DT KC Ruskin 4.9 forty.
-Another prospect who may wind up in the top 10 following his senior season. Ragsdale is the top DT prospect in the state for 2014. His quickness, explosion and athleticism makes him a force for other teams to worry about. Ragsdale spend a lot of time in the opponents backfield. Once he gets good coaching and dedicates himself to the weight room, the sky is the limit. He has had interest from Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Washington, Nebraska and others. He has work to do in the classroom before offers from those schools could likely come. Even if he would have to go the JUCO route, he is a player a school may like to sign and place. Uncommitted.
14. Armon Watts 6'4" 274 DT CBC 5.2 forty.
- Armon's aggressive play and motor really stand out when watching him. He plays hard every down, and is a force in the middle for the Cadets on defense. His ability led o offers coming from Arkansas, Missouri, Wisconsin and others. He will continue to get better once he gets into a good strength and conditioning program in college. Committed to Arkansas.
15. Kevin Pendleton 6'5" 310 OG Lee's Summit West 5.2 forty.
-Pendleton is a massive offensive line prospect who plays with a mean streak. Great run blocker who shows some solid skills in his pass blocking. Good feet and really locks on to his blocks and finishes. His best football is ahead of him once he get to college and in the Tigers S&C program. He could move up the depth chart quickly. Committed to Missouri.
16. Kaleb Prewett 6'2' 200 S Blue Springs 4.5 forty.
- The top safety prospect in the 2014 class. Prewett flew under the radar to some schools for some reason, however, he is a physical, athletic safety prospect who can cover as well as play against the run with a physical style. Runs downfield and is a strong tackler. 38" vertical. Committed to Kansas State.
17. Elijah Lee 6'4" 210 DE/LB Blue Springs 4.5 forty.
- Lee's tweener size seemed to cause some schools to hold off from offering him. He is explosive off the edge using a quick first step and his speed to get to the QB quickly. He is also a big hitter and physical when he arrives. Committed to Kansas State.
18. Matthew Quarells 6'2" 190 WR/CB Hazelwood Central 4.49 forty.
- Quarells has also been a fast player, using his track speed to his advantage. His skill level has caught up to his speed as both as receiver and cornerback. Matt had a great summer and will be a big weapon for the Hawks if they have a QB who can get him the ball. Physical as well as able to make plays after the catch. Uncommitted.
19. Sam Bailey 6'5" 245 OL Lamar 4.95 forty.
- Bailey has been a dominant player in class 2 football for Lamar since he was a freshman. He plays TE/DE for them, but he will move to offensive line in college for Missouri. Very athletic and strong for his size. He battled Tanner Farmer tough in camp with the Tigers. Also a top flight long snapper.
20. Freedom Akinmoladun 6'4" 225 TE Grandview 4.9 forty.
- Freedom is one of the best blockers in the state regardless of position. Just tenacious and his motor doesn't stop as he pancakes his opponents. Also a solid receiving threat. Doesn't have top flight speed after the catch, but he is a solid weapon. Committed to Nebraska.
21. Aaron Mends 6'0" 206 LB Winnetonka 4.58 forty.
- Mends was the second best outside linebacker prospect in the state when Jimmie Swain was at Lee's Summit. Now, he is the top one. He is a great athlete with 4.58 forty speed, a 37.7" vertical jump, and a 555lb squat. Just a punishing hitter who can also cover guys. Mends also plays running back, which helps him on the defensive side. Under-recruited in my opinion. Committed to Iowa.
22. Darrell Monroe 6'2" 220 RB/LB Caruthersville 4.59 forty.
-Monroe has been a real talent since his freshman season at Caruthersville. Some big schools have shown interest in him, but he may have to do some work in order to play D1 football. He was injured part of last season, but with a healthy year on the field and in the classroom, you could see schools increase their interest level. Uncommitted.
23. Darnell Green-Beckham 6'4" 185 WR Hillcrest 4.5 forty.
-Darnell was a D1 prospect following his freshman season. Then he had his battle with cancer, and is back and ready to play football again. He is to be admired that he has fought his way back. Committed to Missouri.
24. Grant Jones 6'2" 210 Hickman 4.6 forty.
-Jones plays DE/TE in high school, but will move to linebacker in college. He has a great motor and just makes plays on the high school level. Committed to Missouri.
25. Scott Schaffner 6'4" 215 TE Raymore Peculiar 4.6 forty.
-Scotty plays WR for Ray-Pec and is a big and productive target for them. In college, he will play TE. Schaffner does a great job running routes, getting open, and catching the ball. He is a playmaker with the ball in his hands after the catch, and has good blocking skills. Committed to Iowa State.
26. Josh Watson 6'1" 230 LB Blue Springs South 4.7 forty.
- Watson is a proto-type run stuffing middle linebacker prospect. A big, physical hitter who can make players sideline to sideline. Committed to Colorado State.
27. Zach Muniz 6'0" 170 CB CBC 4.5 forty.
- Muniz is a very talented cornerback prospect. The only thing separating him from some of the other top corners in the state in this class is the elite track speed. However, he does a great job in coverage and all other aspect of playing the position. Committed to Duke.
28. Evan Martin 6'3" 276 OG/DT Lee's Summit West 5.2 forty.
- Martin's best football is ahead of him as he continues to learn the game and work to improve. He has a great motor and plays hard. Many schools are interested in him, including Iowa State, Navy and others. Uncommitted.
29. Brandon Clark 6'4" 290 DT Rockwood Summit 5.2 forty.
- Clark had a solid junior season, and appears ready to break out as a senior. He is athletic for his size and displays a good motor despite facing double and triple teams in the middle. He has drawn interest from schools such as Illinois and Iowa State.
30. Steve Brown 5'10" 200 RB/S Raymore Peculiar 4.47 forty.
- Brown had the top numbers at the Chicago Nike combine this summer. He has great speed, strength, quickness (3.8 shuttle) and athleticism (39" vertical). Better yet, he can really play football at running back or on defense. While some smaller schools have offered, he deserves some interest from bigger schools given his talents.
BEST OF THE REST
Khalen Saunders 6'1" 287 DT Parkway Central
Jacob Francis 6'4" 290 OG/C Liberty
Jacob Banholzer 6'4" 260 DT Rolla –Committed to Navy
Tyree Mayfield 6'4" 220 TE/DE St. Joseph Central
Adewale Adeoyo 6'4" 220 DE Ritenour
Devin Alexander 6'1" 190 S Ritenour
Jimmy Jones 5'9" 180 RB Hazelwood East
Ben Bailey 6'5" 255 OL Lamar
Gary Starr 6'6" 250 OL KC Center
Jayke Simsheauser 6'4" 235 TE Rockhurst
Blake Goddard 6'1' 200 QB/ATH Kirkwood
Wilbert Vails 6'1' 180 DB De Smet Committed Miami (OH)
Kendall Morris 5'11" 190 RB Francis Howell Central
Apa Visinia 6'4" 360 OG Grandview Committed Kansas
Trey Knes 6'4" 220 DE Parkway Central Committed Miami (OH)
Tyler Stiff 6'3" 300 OG Liberty
Dedrick Cromartie DB DeSmet Committed Miami (OH)
Deantrell Prince 6'1" 200 S/WR O'Fallon Christian
Justise Keith 5'11" 190 RB/S Hickman
Brock Broughton 5'11" 190 RB Kearney Committed Holy Cross
Ben Althoff 6'2" 210 LB Palmyra
Jackson Morrison 6'3" 290 OG Maryville
Terry White 6'1" 180 WR/S Francis Howell North
Derek Gray RB St. Joseph Central
Brad Pryor 6'3" 290 DT Duchesne
Jabari Wayne 6'2" 260 DT Gateway Tech
Robert Marco 6'4" 290 OG Timberland
Jordan Benson 6'4" 260 OL Blue Springs
Darrius Sheperd 6'1" 180 WR/DB Blue Springs
Matt Rush 5'9" 180 WR Hillcrest
Juwan Johnson 5'11" 180 RB/DB Hillcrest
Tyler Creath 6'1" 200 QB CBC
Brinkley Jolly 6'5" 220 TE Liberty North
Robert Lane 6'3" 230 DE Park Hill South
Brent Morrow 6'2" 285 OG Ladue
Jaylon Acklin 6'0" 180 WR/DB Mt. View Liberty
Casey McDermott 6'4" 220 DE Raytown South
Raymond Chase 6'2" 290 OG Raytown South
Justin Summers 6'5" 289 OT Vianney
Kevin Hampton 5'11" 185 Lafayette
Roy Smith 5'10" 180 RB/DB/WR Lee's Summit North
Josh Caldwell 5'11' 190 RB Lee's Summit North