The Missouri Tigers have a huge opportunity on Saturday against Georgia.
The Tigers (1-1) go into their Southeastern Conference opener as underdogs against the 16th-ranked Bulldogs (2-0) but have a chance to make a strong impression on more than two dozen visiting recruits at Memorial Stadium.
At least two of the recruits expected to be on campus will be on official visits — four-star running back A.J. Davis from Lakeland, Fla., and three-star cornerback Terry Petry from Texas — and are positions of need for the Tigers in this recruiting class.
Davis is ranked as the 20th-best running back in the Class of 2017 and the 221st-best prospect overall. Petry, ranked as the 56th-best cornerback in the senior class, is committed to Houston last November but is interested enough in the Tigers to take an official visit to Columbia.
The Tigers have 13 commitments for the Class of 2017 so far but do not have any pledges from running backs or cornerbacks. Missouri has one senior running back (Alex Ross) and currently has two seniors starting at cornerback in Aarion Penton and John Gibson, so those are two areas where the Tigers could definitely try to replenish their talent level.
Missouri will have a few of their 2017 commitments on campus — with wide receivers Da'Ron Davis and Jafar Armstrong, quarterback Reyondous Estes, offensive lineman Case Cook and possibly more — as well as some key recruits in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 classes who already have scholarship offers and have several other schools recruiting them.
East St. Louis senior wide receiver Jeff Thomas, Parkway North junior defensive lineman Michael Thompson and CBC junior wide receiver Kamryn Babb are prospects who already have or will be recruited by the top programs in college football, but are key recruits for the Tigers and are expected to be at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Barry Odom wants to make Mizzou a championship contender and these are the kind of recruits he needs to help make that vision a reality.
So it’s an opportunity for Odom and the Tigers to knock off a Top 25 program, make a statement about where they stand in the SEC hierarchy in 2016 and show some of the top in-state prospects they can compete at the highest level if they come to Columbia.
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