STL Star Running Back Wingo Talks Mizzou

A few months ago Saint Louis University High junior Ronnie Wingo was relatively little known outside of Missouri. But as can happen in the recruiting world, Wingo's name has burst onto the national radar, attracting attention from major programs everywhere. Fortunately for Missouri, however, the Tigers got in good with the budding star running back early in the game.


Wingo has been talked about quite a bit recently as one of the top running backs in the nation for next year, and has an ever expanding list of suitors – Mizzou, Illinois, Tennessee and Minnesota have offered scholarships, while Florida, Oregon, Georgia, LSU and Wisconsin are showing quite a bit of interest.

And it's not difficult to see why he's become such a hot commodity: he's got a blend of size (6-foot-2, 210 pounds), speed (national AAU 200-meters champion last year) and production (1,562 yards, 17 touchdowns) that will keep the recruiters coming to SLUH on a regular basis.

Mizzou has made an early impression with Wingo, who checked out three games this year and jumped onto the Mizzou bandwagon along with so man others people inside and outside of Missouri.

"When I went to the game early in the season, there was only me and a few other recruits there," Wingo said. "But when I went to the Nebraska game, it was crazy. The game wasn't very close but the environment was crazy. I didn't know it could get like that."

"I'm also a fan because of [St. Louis natives] Jeremy Maclin and Will Franklin," he said. "Everybody [in St. Louis] has been like, ‘wow,'" because of MU's success this year.

Wingo has impressive bloodlines. His father, Ronnie Sr., was a two-year all-state selection coming out of Sumner High in St. Louis and committed to Michigan State before other responsibilities interrupted his playing career. The elder Wingo has gotten to know the Mizzou staff recently and has been quite impressed with Gary Pinkel's performance, though he understandably prefers to let his son do the talking about his recruitment.

Ronnie Jr. has spoken with both Pinkel and MU assistant Cornell Ford on occasion as well.

"I talked to coach Pinkel a couple of times. He's a nice guy. He doesn't smile a lot, but he's a good guy," Wingo said.

Wingo plans to run track in college, but said football is his first priority; he won't choose a school based on the quality of its track program or because it's located in a warm weather state.

"I can run track anywhere. I'm going to do football first anyways," he said.

Wingo hasn't focused too much on recruiting yet. Academics, football and his social life remain the most important things for the junior, who attends an academically prestigious private school. So when will he begin to come up with a list of schools and a game plan?

"That's a great question. I'm not even sure. I've got to do it sooner or later, but I'm just enjoying being a high school kid," he said.

Missouri and Illinois have been the most active in his recruitment so far, often sending mail and visiting his coach at SLUH. Wingo is a long way from making any decisions, but it's safe to say Mizzou is right in the mix and will remain there.

"My recruiting is wide open right now, but it's a good school where I can see myself," he said. "It's a possibility."

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories