The Missouri Tigers offensive line play has been a big reason behind their offensive success in 2013. So it is not surprise that they have not only made the position a main focus of their 2014 recruiting class, but are also looking to land some quality offensive linemen for 2015.
One such 2015 lineman is Baldwin City (KS) OT Christian Gaylord 6'7" 275, who picked up an offer from the Tigers on Friday.
I spoke with Christian to get his thoughts on his latest offer and Mizzou.
"I found out about the Mizzou offer from my high school football coach on Friday," said Gaylord. "Coach Josh Henson came to my school and talked to my coach. My coach (Mike Berg) talked to me later that day and told me that I had the offer. It was awesome news to get. Mizzou had told me that they liked my video and thought I could be a part of their tradition. It feels great to have an offer from them! It's very humbling that an SEC school has offered me."
It appears that the Tigers have been paying close attention to Gaylord since the start of this season and have increased their interest in him in recent weeks.
"I have been receiving mail from Missouri since the beginning of my junior year. I recently had some communication from Coach Hill and he invited me to the Tennessee game. I was able to speak to both Coach Hill and Coach Henson while on that unofficial trip. Both had indicated that they were very interested in me. Coach Hill said that they would follow up with me in the next few weeks and then the offer came on Friday"
Missouri is a school that he appears to know a lot about having grown up in Kansas. He spoke about it along with his thoughts on the program.
"I am familiar with the Mizzou program. Growing up in Big 12 country, I have watched them play quite a bit. Living outside of Lawrence ( 12 miles to the SE) I have watched many games between MU/KU. I enjoyed the Tennessee game in that the offense was a combination of a run/pass attack. (The game environment was awesome!) My high school is more of a run based offense but I am confident I have the tools to be effective doing both," said Gaylord.
So, is a possible return trip to Mizzou likely in a couple of weeks?
"It would be nice to get back to the Texas A&M game but I'm not sure of our schedule with the Thanksgiving holiday."
Christian filled me in on his most recent trip, this one to Oklahoma.
"The OU trip went well. It was the first time that I had been there. It was more of an introductory trip for me. The OL coach indicated that they were very interested and that they liked my tape as well. I am supposed to call them later this week to follow up with my visit. It was a great environment with a great football tradition."
Despite it being very early in his recruitment so far, I asked Christian if he had a list of top schools in his mind yet?
"There are no favorites as this point. Since I am only a junior. I am taking my time and enjoying the process. I am blessed that I have offers from the SEC and Big 12 so far. My dream has always been to play football at the D1 level. I am just going to keep working hard to make that come true."
"My top schools are the four that have offered so far. They have worked hard to develop a relationship with me so I don't want to be unfair by ranking them in any order."
And how about a possible timeline for when he'd like to make a college decision by?
"I would like to make a decision sometime early my senior year. I should have all the information I need by then. That could change but that is what I am thinking at this point," he said.
Lastly, I wanted Christian to describe himself as the type of player he felt he was at this point.
"I would describe me as a physical tackle who has a quick first step. I am able to stay on my block and finish the play. I am motivated to improve my skills as well as helping my teammates be the best."
The athletic lineman's recruitment looks like it is really beginning to take.
ShowMeMizzou.com will continue to follow how it develops with Missouri.