Last month, Missouri signed mid-year junior college OT prospect Malik Cuellar 6’5” 300 San Francisco (CA) City College. ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with Cuellar this week, as he prepares to get started at Missouri.
Signing the athletic left tackle prospect from Fortuna, California, who said he had received “forty scholarship offers”, and who in the end chose Missouri over Arizona State, California, Iowa State, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Rutgers, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, and Utah State, among many others, is a major coup for Missouri.
Cuellar, whom Missouri had aggressively pursued since last spring, was important enough to the Tigers that last month, the triumvirate of Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel, Offensive Coordinator Josh Henson, and Offensive Line Coach A.J. Ricker all flew out to San Francisco to meet with him at CCSF.
Cuellar said that he “loved” Columbia, and that the quality of the education he will receive at Missouri, along with a great opportunity to come in and play right away, were instrumental in his decision to become a Missouri Tiger.
Cuellar is due to arrive at Missouri on January 17th. He’s been working out every day to get into shape for Missouri’s off-season conditioning program. He said he ran about 4 miles the day I spoke with him. He also said that he did a set of 5 at 315 pounds in the bench press. He said that he has benched 225 pounds as many as 19 times, but that was quite a while ago.
“I can’t wait to get to it,” said Cuellar. “I’m just excited to be a Missouri Tiger! I’m excited to be in that environment, in COMO, and get to work for Coach Pinkel. I like Coach Pinkel a lot……………………………….. It’s going to be fun! It should be a lot of work. But it’s going to be fun.”
Cuellar sees a very good opportunity at Missouri to come in and compete for playing time this spring. He was a qualifier out of high school, and he has three years to play two, but he is expected to play right away.
“Everyone around here is excited for me,” explained Cuellar, who finished the fall semester with a 3.1 GPA.