Mizzou offers Dallas standout/Missouri native

Sure, Missouri's latest football recruiting target may live in Texas, but he was born in Joplin, Mo., loves the Tigers, has grandparents living in Columbia, and pronounces it ‘Missour-ruh.' So it almost seems like a no-brainer that the Tigers staff verbally offered this Lonestar state standout a scholarship last week, and it also won't be surprising should he decide to accept.

Defensive tackle Jimmy Burge of Stratford High in Dallas hadn't heard from Mizzou until a week ago, when Tigers defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski called him out of the blue. Burge had sent his highlight tape to MU in hopes of gaining interest from his favorite team, and it worked better than he'd imagined.

"He told me they're going to offer me a full ride," said Bunge, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound run stuffer who has an offer from Fresno State and interest from Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Northwestern and TCU. "I'm going to go up there in the next two weeks. They have a spring game on the 21st, but I can't make it, so I want to get there before then."

Burge only spent two years of his life in the Show Me State, but his family has passed down the tradition, and he's spent plenty of time in Columbia visiting his grandparents.

"I've always liked the Tigers, even growing up in Texas," he said.

Burge is an all-district defensive tackle on a team that went 10-2 last year and is led by blue-chip quarterback Andrew Luck. He has a 3.5 GPA, a 320-pound bench press, and is what many would describe as a ‘grinder.'

"I like holding my ground at the line of scrimmage and taking on double teams, that's what I like to do," he said. "I'm not the biggest of guys, but I play hard throughout the game and I don't take any plays off. That's my favorite characteristic about myself and that's what [I think the MU staff saw in me]."

Burge doesn't plan to commit in the immediate future, but he also won't be waiting around for too long, either. If his other favorite, Texas A&M, doesn't offer in this spring or by mid-summer, he could become a Tiger.

"I'm gonna wait it out some and see what my opportunities are, but not too long," he said. "I want that opportunity to still be available."

In other words, he's quite interested in coming back to ‘Missour-ruh.'

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