Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) High School senior wide receiver Jafar Armstrong had been on the University of Missouri several times before his visit on Friday with a teammate, but this time was special.
Armstrong, who visited Mizzou with sophomore quarterback Graham Mertz and Bishop Miege offensive coordinator Justin Hoover, was back on campus for the first time since making a verbal commitment to the Tigers in mid June.
“It felt a lot different,” Armstrong told BlackAndGoldIllustrated.com. “I’ve gone to Junior Day and I was looking at a bunch of schools, so I wasn’t really sure. I always felt like this was a top choice for me but I really didn’t know how they felt about me.
“Since I’ve committed I’ve felt very welcome there. I talked to Coach (Barry) Odom, Coach (Josh) Heupel the OC, Coach (Andy) Hill, the receivers coach and they showed me love. It’s all love with them. It’s just great to be around them, be around my family for next year. I had a great time.”
Armstrong and his Bishop Miege teammates, who are looking to defend their state championship this season, begin practice on Monday. So his trip to Columbia was the last chance he’d have this summer to get back to Missouri and get a good look around.
He was given a tour of campus — “I hadn’t really seen anything outside the football facilities,” Armstrong said — and also got to watch the Tigers practice during the morning. That was the highlight of the visit, the wide receiver said.
“They looked really good,” Armstrong said. “I was happy with how the offense looked. Drew (Lock) has really improved. He looks like a top tier quarterback in the SEC. I’m just glad I’ll be able to play with him next year.”
Armstrong’s visit to Missouri helped him realize it was the right school for him — not that there were any doubts.
When he committed to the Tigers in mid June, just a few days after receiving a scholarship offer, he was all in.
“I was pretty sick of recruiting,” Armstrong said. “It was pretty stressful on me. I just wanted to get it over with. Mizzou only being two hours away and I’ve always been a diehard Mizzou fan. When they offered it felt right. I knew in my heart that that’s where I needed to be and after going up there again I definitely made the right decision.”
Since then Armstrong has been working to recruit future teammates to play with him in Columbia. He said he texted with St. Louis University High School cornerback Tony Adams on the night before Adams made his decision — he ultimately picked his home state program, Illinois — and has been getting to know other commits.
“We have, what, 13-14 so far? I’ve talked to every single one of those guys that have committed,” he said. “I’m trying to start getting close with them. I’m recruiting guys. Trevor Trout. All those St. Louis guys. I’m always talking to them, just trying to get them up there. Of course I’m trying to recruit. I’m trying to get Mizzou back to the SEC championship and anyway I can help I’m going to.”
Armstrong has also developed a friendship with another Mizzou commitment from the Kansas City area in wide receiver DaRon Davis.
“DaRon’s great,” Armstrong said. “We worked out a couple times this year. We have these big 7-on-7 games at a local high school. We were talking and there was some speculation that he was going somewhere else and that wasn’t true. He just went to that camp there (at Nebraska). I’m not sure if they offered or not.
“But me and DaRon, working at that 7 on 7, and how well we were jelling together, we both knew that we had to stick together and this duo could be dangerous and we could really turn heads at Mizzou with this duo so we should not break up and go somewhere else. He’s 100 percent (committed) for sure.”
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