On Monday July 27th, a somewhat under-the-radar interior offensive line prospect took an unofficial visit to Missouri. During the first week of June, 2016 center prospect Garrett Hirsch 6’3” 285 Normal (IL) participated in the first of Missouri’s two team camps, where he worked side by side with Missouri offensive tackle commit Royce Newman. Garrett came to the Mizzou camp intent on impressing the Missouri staff. And he did.
Since early June, the Tigers have picked up commitments from Newman and OG prospect Mackenzie Nworah to add to an earlier commitment from center-guard prospect Trystan Castillo. According to Hirsch, the Tigers have a full complement of offensive linemen for their 2016 recruiting class. Yet, the Missouri staff has continued to recruit Hirsch, expressing their interest in him. In the meanwhile, Hirsch had attended other camps without attracting much serious recruiting interest.
“People show up to my school and they tell me they’re close to offering me,” explained Hirsch. “Then I go and meet with the coaches, and they tell me I’m a little too short.”
He has picked up offers from Illinois State and Western Illinois, but all the while he knew that Missouri was where he wanted to end up.
Following his visit to Missouri last week, Hirsch spoke with me about the visit, and he also shared some information about where his relationship with Missouri is headed.
“I had a great time on my Missouri visit,” said Hirsch. “I got to talk with all the coaches. I got to see the entire campus. Really, an in-depth look at the education system. The weight room. I got to meet with Coach Ivey, the strength and conditioning coaches. It was a great time. I’ll be back again, for sure, at some point in time. It was a very good visit.”
Hirsch said that that Missouri does not have a scholarship for him at this time. But it does sound like Hirsch is going to end up being a Missouri Tiger.
“Missouri is where I wanted to be all along,” said Hirsch, who went on to explain that Coach Pinkel told him they’re going to “make it happen”. “The coaches said that they’re going to make me a Missouri Tiger one way or the other, either through over-signing, or a grey shirt.”
As Coach Pinkel explained to Hirsch, one possibility is that through unexpected attrition, a scholarship may become available at Missouri for Hirsch before Signing Day. But if that scholarship does not become available before February, Hirsch intends to sign with Missouri, and then delay his enrollment as a full-time student until January 2017, effectively delaying the start of his football eligibility. He would then count as part of the 2017 recruiting class.
“Coach Pinkel told me that if a scholarship becomes available, I’m the first man they’re going to call to give me a scholarship.”
Hirsch explained that he had won over the Missouri coaching staff with his performance at camp.
“They said that I impressed everybody off the bat,” Hirsch related. “Missouri was really the only school that really fully evaluated me. They’re the only team that has really given me a fair shake.”
Hirsch also came away from camp having become good friends with Royce Newman.
“Royce and I worked really well together,” explained Hirsch. “We’ve been talking a lot since that camp.”
Earlier in his high school career, Hirsh had played head up in a playoff game against Missouri defensive tackle Terry Beckner. He said that he really enjoyed that experience, and that he’s looking forward to practicing against Beckner when he gets to Mizzou.
Even though Hirsch has heard from some coaches that he’s too short (6’2” and change), he said that when he met Evan Boehm, he was “slightly taller” than the 6’2” Boehm.
Hirsch said that he’s done with recruiting, and will “wait it out” to discover which path he’ll take to Missouri.
“As soon as they offer, I’ll commit instantly,” explained Hirsch. “It just feels like home at Missouri. I just love it!”
Hirsch said that he’ll be back to Missouri for some games this fall.