Among the crowd for Missouri's Black & Gold Game on Saturday were several members of the Tigers’ 2016 recruiting class. For running back Damarea Crockett, it was his first trip back to Columbia since his official visit in late January.
“The visit was good, as always,” Crockett told BlackandGoldIllustrated.com on Sunday. “I just got a chance to talk to a couple of the teammates and talk to the signees. It was a good time overall.”
The trip gave Crockett, a 3-star prospect from Little Rock (Ark.) Christian Academy, a chance to get to know more of his future Tigers teammates.
“It’s the first time I got to meet a lot of them because the only two I knew before them were Jerod (Alton) and Christian (Holmes,)” he said. “Those are the only two that I had met. I got to meet a good amount of the recruits this visit.”
“When I sat and talked with them,” Crockett said, “we all talked together like we had known each other for 10 years. Honestly it was just a good time.”
A 5-foot-11, 215-pounder, Crockett said he liked what he saw from the Tigers on the field on Saturday. Missouri’s offense defeated the defense, 21-0, behind three touchdown passes.
Crockett said he doesn’t know very much about the Tigers’ retooled offense, but he’s eager to learn it when he arrives on campus in early June. Until then he’s working out and getting ready.
As one of two running back signees in this recruiting class — the other is JUCO transfer Natereace Strong — Crockett could have a chance to contribute early based on the lack of numbers in the backfield and his size making him one of the bigger backs.
“When I get to campus I just want to bring as much fire to the team as possible, you know, and just get after it,” he said. “Just get in where I fit in and work hard, pretty much.”
What have the coaches said about expectations when he gets to campus?
“They’ve basically just been telling me to be working hard and staying tight while I’m still in high school, just finish out the year strong,” Crockett said. “They told me when I get on campus I should come in with my mind right and just have the right mindset and come ready to work hard.”
Crockett was one of the late commitments to Missouri coach Barry Odom’s first recruiting class with the Tigers.
He had previously committed to Boise State in the fall but then considered the Tigers in January and made a commitment following his official visit to Columbia.
Crockett said the proximity to his Arkansas home and the fact that Missouri competes in the Southeastern Conference were two of the primary reasons he chose the Tigers.
“When I went up there I felt the team bond,” Crockett said. “I didn’t feel out of place. I felt like they took me right in. I liked the coaching staff that they put together and they sound to me like they know what they are talking about and they have a vision for the Missouri Tigers.”