Missouri announces class of 2004

Wednesday was signing day, and coach Gary Pinkel had quite the class to announce. Pinkel got 14 of 16 in-state recruits and some help from Texas to build one of the nation's top classes, which is led by Rock Bridge quarterback Chase Patton.

As Missouri coach Gary Pinkel noted, there's never been a bad recruiting class in the history of college football when it comes to the signing day press conference.

But as the faxes started coming in early this morning until the final commitment came at 11:30 a.m., Pinkel and his staff actually had a class to be proud of and one of the best in Missouri history.

It was definitely the most successful year for Missouri as far as getting the recruits it wanted, and especially with kids in state. Missouri landed 14 of the 16 in-state recruits it offered scholarships to, which is very close to Pinkel's goal of 90 percent.

"That gives us a recruiting base in the state of Missouri, which has great high school football, to build a national program," Pinkel said.

The class, which didn't make theinsiders.com top 25 but did rank high in other polls, certainly has its headliners. Quarterback Chase Patton, who is from Columbia, is ranked 13th in the nation at his position by theinsiders.com. Patton played at Rock Bridge, which is just down Providence Road from Memorial Stadium. He had offers from UCLA, Tennessee and Iowa, but committed after his official visit in December.

"I certainly haven't ever recruited someone where their high school is a mile and a half away from my office," Pinkel said. "In some respects, it can be an advantage because they're close to home."

Patton's teammate, linebacker Van Alexander, is in the top 50 at his position, as are receiver Jerrill Humphrey, offensive lineman Kyle Riggs and running back Tony Temple. Missouri also signed another quarterback, Darrell Jackson, who led Webster Groves Hih School to two straight Class 5A championship appearances. Jackson wasn't bothered by the competition even after Patton committed.

"I'm excited," said Dave Yost, recruiting coordinator and quarterbacks coach. "(Patton and Jackson) are just dying to get done here. No matter where they go, they're going to have to compete with somebody. This is where they wanted to go."

Missouri also signed nine players from Texas, including John Dirk, an offensive lineman who the last recruit to commit.

"What that presents is for great athletes in the state of Texas to have another alternative," Pinkel said. "They can go to the University of Missouri, and it's a great football program and a great academic institution and it's a place to go because there's a lot of players in Texas that are there."

Missouri signing class did have one notable no-show. Lineman Arthur Miller, who ranks 40th among linebackers, has not signed yet.

NamePos.Ht.Wt.Hometown (Last School)
Van AlexanderRB/LB6-1210Columbia, Mo. (Rock Bridge HS)
Brian BarmannTE/DB6-3215Weston, Mo. (West Platte R-II HS)
Mack BreedQB/DB6-2195San Antonio, Texas (John Jay HS)
Julius DenzmoreQB/DB6-2190East St. Louis, Ill. (East St. Louis HS)
John DirkOL/DL6-3280Stephenville, Texas (Stephenville HS)
William FranklinWR/DB6-2185St. Louis, Mo. (Vashon HS)
Earl GoldsmithRB/DB5-9190Denton, Texas (Ryan HS)
Jerrill HumphreyWR/DB6-4210LaGrange, Mo. (Highland HS)
Darrell JacksonQB/DB6-3220St. Louis, Mo. (Webster Groves HS)
Jimmy JacksonRB/DB5-9190Caruthersville, Mo. (Caruthersville HS)
Domonique JohnsonWR/DB6-2180Texas City, Texas (LaMarque HS)
George LaneDL6-3275Arlington, Texas (Sam Houston HS/
College of the Siskiyous JC)
Ryan MadisonOL/DL6-5270Bethany, Mo. (South Harrison HS)
William MooreWR/DB6-2200Hayti, Mo. (Hayti HS)
Alvin NewhouseRB/LB6-2225Dallas, Texas (South Oak Cliff HS)
Aaron O'NealRB/LB6-3215Creve Coeur, Mo. (Parkway North HS)
Chase PattonQB/DB6-4210Columbia, Mo. (Rock Bridge HS)
Steve RedmondWR/DB6-1210Kansas City, Mo. (Rockhurst HS)
Kyle RiggsOL/DL6-6305Festus, Mo. (Festus HS)
Aaron SaundersOL/DL6-7290San Antonio, Texas (John Jay HS)
Stryker SulakTE/DL6-5220Rockdale, Texas (Rockdale HS)
Tony TempleRB/DB5-10190Kansas City, Mo. (Rockhurst HS)
Chris WadeTE/DL6-5230Broken Arrow, Okla. (Broken Arrow HS)
Calcius WilliamsTE/DL6-4210Denton, Texas (Ryan HS)

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories