Wingo Has a "Perfect" Day at Missouri

Saint Louis University High (Mo.) standout Ronnie Wingo, who is regarded among the elite running backs in the national 2009 class, made another trip to Columbia this weekend to check out Missouri's Junior Day. The event, Wingo told, could not have been better. And then we found out about the potential package deal that could land MU Wingo and another talented prospect.

First things first: Wingo arrived in time for breakfast and then took a tour of the football facilities with rest of the two-dozen or so prospects in attendance, who then broke off into groups with their respective primary recruiters – Wingo's is Cornell Ford, who jokingly asked the 6-foot-2, 205-pound speedster to make a commitment on the spot.

"How long you gonna make me wait?" Ford asked, smiling.

Said Wingo later, "They want me to commit early, but they understand that I want to wait a little while."

Wingo then joined the rest of the recruits at Mizzou Arena for the Tigers' thrilling 75-72 win over Kansas State. He also got to chat with a lot of the other top '09 prospects, such as Rockhurst's Nathan Scheelhaase, and chatted with 2008 recruit Andrew Jones. "They were all saying that" he should commit to MU, Wingo said.

Wingo, the reigning national AAU champion in the 200 meters, already has offers from Mizzou, Illinois, Tennessee, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Undoubtedly, many more are soon to follow, although Wingo isn't the type to become star-struck. He's got a low-key, understated personality, and he and his family have taken the ever-growing attention in stride.

Their plan is to begin evaluating schools more closely after signing day this week, so that they can get a realistic look at depth charts and other signings. He has not timetable for a commitment, preferring instead to see how the next several months play out.

Still, Mizzou seems to be in great position in his recruitment. "It was wonderful, it was excellent, it was perfect," he said of the Junior Day. "They were always high on my list, but today it was like something different."

Now here's the package-deal speculation: Wingo's cousin, Trinity High (Mo.) running back Marquise Hill is a player in his own right. Though only a sophomore, he's already racked up 36 touchdowns and more than 2,800 yards, and attracted attention from MU, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Illinois and Kansas. He's coached in basketball by former Mizzou star Kelly Thames, and he loves Missouri.

He was hanging out with Wingo when we caught up with him Saturday night. According to Wingo, Hall and those around them, it would be a surprise if the two didn't end up going to the same college.

"There's a really good chance that's going to happen," Wingo said.

Hall, who plans to play slot receiver beginning next year and in college, has already been to MU a few times and would have liked to have been there today.
"They told me I had to stay back," he said, laughing.

"I think they're a good program on the rise," he said. "Oh yeah, I love ‘em."

We also asked him to predict where his highly recruited cousin is going to end up.

"To be honest," he said, "probably Mizzou."

Of course, that may have only been youthful exuberance by Hill. Wingo will continue to look closer at the whole recruiting process as the winter turns to spring, and he has a strong support group, including his father – also Ronnie Wingo – who was heavily recruited out of St. Louis in the early 90s and committed to Michigan State.

Still, it's clear Missouri is in as good a shape as anyone right now with one of the most promising Show Me State prospects in recent years.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a free sample of the coverage provided to our subscribers at and on the national network. Sign up for an annual membership now and you'll be on board in time for the info-packed recruiting-guide issue of Inside Mizzou Magazine.

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories