Wagner, a 6-foot-8, 300-pound junior offensive tackle at Richmond-Burton High School in Richmond, Ill., has been a fast rising prospect in the Class of 2017 and liked what he saw in Columbia and what he heard from Mizzou head coach Barry Odom and offensive line coach Glen Elarbee.
“It was an absolute blast,” Wagner said. “Me, my dad and my brother went down there and we had a great time. We got to see all the coaches and everything. I got to meet Coach Elarbee and Coach Odom. It was a very good time. We got to tour the facilities and everything.”
Wagner, who picked up an offer from Arkansas on Friday, was impressed with the new Missouri coaches and can’t wait to make a return trip.
“It seems to me that they are very excited about me and I can’t wait to get back up there again for a spring practice,” he said. “… I’m really looking forward to that. It’s going to be awesome, in my opinion. I can’t wait to see the coaching style. I think they are all exciting and I’m excited, too. It was good because everyone had a lot of energy, it was very high energy, and everyone was kind of ready to go. I feel like they had a pretty good feeling and I had a pretty good feeling.”
What makes Missouri an attractive school for Wagner?
“I liked seeing everything they had going on,” the offensive lineman said. “It was my first SEC offer, which was very cool, and I was really excited when I got it. You hear so much about them and everything and I kind of had to go see for myself. Then when I got there I was every bit as impressed if not even more than from what I’ve heard, much more from what I’ve heard. It was very cool. They’ve got a lot going on there. It was a winning attitude. With the the new coaches that are there and Coach Elarbee and all of them, I feel like they are going to have a lot of stuff going on.”
“Coach Odom, I believe, played there when he was younger too and now he’s the head coach there. That should bring more energy than a lot of these other places because he’s going to care real deep for that. I know a lot of other coaches do. But it’s like a sense of pride from playing there and just wanting to see them succeed. I really look forward to seeing what they have to offer.”
Wagner will have some difficult decisions to make with recruiting whenever he decides to narrow down his growing list of schools.
Asked to describe his recent run of offers, which includes Illinois and Louisville, Wagner chose the word “hectic” to sum up the activity.
“Very hectic,” he said. “It’s like a blessing in itself. I was very grateful to receive those offers and I’m really looking forward to what I have going on in the future. All these guys are saying go out and see it all, really take it all in and go see these places, as many as you can, to try to see this stuff and that’s what we’re trying to do — see where I fit in best. It’s a really good time. It’s been hectic but it’s been awesome.”
Wagner’s trip to Missouri was his third Junior Day event in recent weeks after making visits to Illinois and Indiana. Before that, he had taken unofficial visits during the college season to Indiana, Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin (twice).
His hectic traveling schedule will include another SEC school first.
“I know for sure next weekend we’re going to do our best to get down to Arkansas and see what they have going on down there,” Wagner said. “Then it’s still in the works, we’re still trying to plan how to allocate resources for going out to Oklahoma too. We’ll have to see there and check all that stuff out. … Then of course seeing Mizzou again for a spring practice.”