Missouri Recruiting Notebook Jan. 23

Some Missouri Tigers news and notes going into the final stretch before National Signing Day...

With a little more than a week until National Signing Day, the Missouri Tigers are at 21 verbal commitments for the 2017 recruiting class after losing one and gaining one over the past few days. 

Quarterback Reyondous Estes, who flipped from Western Michigan to Missouri over the summer, has flipped again, this time from Missouri to Minnesota and new coach P.J. Fleck, the former WMU coach.

The Tigers gained a commitment from Tyree Gillespie over the weekend and the Florida safety adds to a strong group of defensive back recruits. 

Missouri could still add up to seven more commitments in this class, though it’s possible the Tigers won’t get to that number before Signing Day.

Barry Odom and Co. have another big recruiting weekend coming up where they will try to add a few more pledges to this class. Here are a couple storylines to watch this week…

QUARTERBACK WATCH

The biggest news over the weekend wasn’t Gillespie’s commitment but that Missouri wasted little time moving on after Estes flipped to Minnesota. 

http://www.scout.com/player/195442-taylor-powell?s=19

On Sunday night the Tigers offered a scholarship to Taylor Powell, a Wake Forest commitment from Arkansas who had visited Missouri last spring and left with a positive impression of the Tigers.

For a while it looked like Missouri wouldn’t take a quarterback in this class, with four QBs already on scholarship, but that changed when the Tigers offered Estes. Since then, backup Marvin Zanders decided to transfer and Estes opted to head North and hitch his boat with Fleck with the Golden Gophers.

With just three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster — and with two of them not having taken a snap at the Division I level yet — it’s important for Missouri to add another one (or two) to the mix.

Offering Powell at this point in the process, when the school already had a relationship with the player, tells me the Tigers feel like they have a legitimate shot to flip him.

FLIP WATCH

Our last flip watch included Estes, who flipped, along with wide receiver Jafar Armstrong, defensive end Chris Turner and cornerback Adam Sparks.

Turner has told us he is 100 percent on board with Missouri and Sparks has told other recruits he’s not considering Ole Miss, which recently offered him.

http://www.scout.com/player/197316-jafar-armstrong?s=19

Armstrong, from the Kansas City area, is now the main guy to watch after he took an official visit to Minnesota over the weekend and is expected to visit Notre Dame the final weekend before Signing Day. 

He’s been pretty adamant in the past about being solid in his commitment, but that may be trending in the other direction after his public comments, via Twitter, praising his visit with the Golden Gophers.

http://www.scout.com/player/213140-elijah-gardiner?s=19

Texas wide receiver Elijah Gardiner received a late offer from the University of Texas and it appears the Longhorns are making a push for the 6-foot-4 pass catcher. 

If Texas can get Gardiner on campus for an official visit this weekend, it’s very possible that he flips to his home state school.

While wide receiver DaRon Davis reaffirmed his commitment to the Tigers via Twitter following his official visit this past weekend, it’s possible Missouri could lose its other two wide receiver commitments in this class.

Look for the Tigers to bring in some wide receivers on official visits this weekend in case that happens. 

STILL WAITING

Missouri is still waiting to hear if a couple of key defensive prospects who already took official visits to Columbia will decide to become Tigers.

http://www.scout.com/player/200254-zion-debose?s=19

North Carolina defensive end Zion DeBose, who was committed to Appalachian State months ago when Missouri offered, visited the Tigers in December but has already visited Illinois and Pittsburgh so far this month and will head to Virginia Tech this weekend.

http://www.scout.com/player/208467-caleb-sampson?s=19

Louisiana defensive tackle Caleb Sampson, who was a Tulane commit, visited Missouri in early December and visit Kansas State this weekend before making his decision.

UNCOMMITTED VISITORS TO WATCH

Missouri figures to have a busy final weekend before Signing Day and the Tigers could have some work to do to line up a guest list. 

http://www.scout.com/player/207337-walter-palmore?s=19

http://www.scout.com/player/206334-malik-young?s=19

Junior college teammates Walter Palmore and Malik Young, both defensive tackles at Eastern Arizona, could be heading to Missouri this weekend and could be key recruits for the Tigers.

Missouri has a commitment from one JUCO defensive tackle, Rashad Brandon, but adding a pledge from one or both of these big guys could solidify a position of need following the graduations of Rickey Hatley and Josh Augusta and the transfer of Josh Moore.

The Tigers also have two defensive tackles coming off knee injuries in Terry Beckner Jr. and Markell Utsey, so they need to address this position.

MISSOURI COUNTDOWN TO SIGNING DAY HQ

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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