Can Mizzou have a (Montee) Ball?

Several months back, it seemed Timberland (Mo.) running back Montee Ball might not be the best fit for the Mizzou offense and that the staff probably wouldn't recruit him. At least, that was the vibe Ball, his coach and family got. But have things changed recently?

It's possible. Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel and assistant coach Cornell Ford stopped by Ball's school last week to meet with coach Craig Collins and pick up some game tape of the highly regarded junior running back.

"He got so much better this year, I think they're going to look back at it now," Collins said.

Ball rushed for a gaudy 3,077 yards and 32 touchdowns this season, topping the 185-yard mark in every game. He's six feet tall, 206 pounds and has legit 4.5-second 40-yard dash speed. That wasn't the case a year ago, Collins said, when he was more of a power back.

"I think a lot of it had to do with him maturing physically and he worked very hard on his speed training," Collins said. "He's fast. He's a legit breakaway threat now."

Ball has five junior day visits scheduled for the next month – Iowa, Northwestern, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Iowa and Northwestern are expected to offer soon.

"It's getting crazy," said his father," Montee Ball Sr. "The college coaches are running into each other at the school."

Will Mizzou enter the mix?

"It might change. Most definitely he will consider anyone that offers him. The probably right now with Mizzou is that they have six running backs now," Ball Sr. said. And "Montee is the type who wants to get the ball 20 to 30 times a game. Their backs usually get the ball ten or so times a game. I don't know if that's the style they've got there, or if they just don't have a running back to do that."

It's expected that Ball and his coach will hear back from Mizzou's staff soon to find out whether the staff will be pursuing him. With several other programs preparing to show their wares to him, the Tigers will have to get involved sooner rather than later if they're interested in Ball.

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