Burge Couldn't Wait to be a Tiger

Jimmy Burge was going to hold off for a while. He wanted to wait and make sure none of the other schools recruiting him could overwhelm the feeling he had about the University of Missouri. But earlier this week it dawned on him -- Why wait to make a commitment when you know where you want to be?

So Burge, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive tackle from Stratford High in Houston, went ahead and committed to MU Tuesday, becoming the Tigers' ninth commitment for the Class of 2008.

"I had waited a while to see what some of the other schools had to offer," Burge said, "but I realized Mizzou would always be No. 1, so go ahead and end the recruitment process."

Burge was born in Joplin, Mo., and has grandparents in Columbia. He's been ecxited about the prospect of returning to Missouri since the day the Tigers' staff offered him back in March, and his visit to campus earlier this summer did nothing to dissuade him.

"They have great facilities and a great campus, and I also like the Big 12," Burge said. "I can't wait, after my senior year, to get up there and get started."

Burge, a Scout.com three-star recruit who is ranked No. 100 in the Southwest, benches 330 pounds, squats 515 and has a 25-inch vertical jump. He says he runs the forty in 5.1. He's a ‘grinder' type who will battle from whistle to whistle and free up space for his linebackers. He'll play the two technique – inside defensive tackle – at Missouri.

Burge, who selected MU over offers from Stanford, TCU, Kansas, Fresno State and Tulane, said the plan is to redshirt his freshman year in order to get strong enough to compete against Big 12 linemen, and hopefully be in the mix for playing time the following year.

By then, he figures the program will have ascended to the top of the conference.

"I think coach Pinkel has the program really on the rise," Burge said. "I think he got there six years ago, and the first couple years they didn't win many games. Now they've gone to bowl games, I think, three out of the past four years, and I can see them becoming one of the top teams" in the years to come.

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