CB E.J. GAINES 5'10" 175 Independence (MO) Fort Osage
Gaines is a standout two-way player who brings good instincts, speed and a physical nature to whatever position he's playing. Scout.com ranks him as the nation's No. 52-ranked cornerback prospect. He was a two-time 1st-Team All-State performer, and helped lead his team to the Missouri Class 5 title game as a senior in 2009, before they fell to Webster Groves in the championship game. Gaines ran for 78 yards and made 3 tackles in the title game, as his team held a 14-10 lead late in the third quarter before eventually falling 31-14. Gaines had a monster senior season, as he ran for 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 400 yards, while also starring in the secondary by making 72 tackles and 2 interceptions. He turned in an 89-tackle season as a junior, when he added 5 interceptions (including one he returned for a score) in 2008. He added 88 stops and 5 interceptions as a sophomore in 2007. Gaines was also a standout
performer in track and basketball for his school, as he won all-state honors in track two different years.
His high school coach is Ryan Schartz, and his parents are Edwin Gaines and Alta Bailey. He's interested in studying management at Missouri, and lists reading and playing video games, especially Madden Football, as his hobbies. He also referees little league basketball games in his spare time. He chose Missouri over the summer in the recruiting process, soon after receiving a scholarship offer.
Missouri Assistant Coach Andy Hill was Gaines' primary recruiter, and had this to say about E.J. "We're looking at E.J. as a corner. He's also a returner. He's a very athletic young man............ He ran a 4.4 for us at the one day camp in Kansas City. We offered him after camp, and he committed soon after that. He'll look good in black and gold."
Fort Osage Head Coach Ryan Schartz called EJ, "A special player." And said that EJ was receiving some interest from colleges such as Akron until he ran a 4.4 forty at a Nike camp. "Then everybody started calling.", said Schartz.
JP:" The only thing that EJ doesn't have is great height. Otherwise, he has all the skills you look for in a cornerback. He can run,cover,be physical, play the run, has good hips and will put the big hit on opponents. He is one of the hardest hitters for a play his size I have seen. He has good speed and was turned loose on offense this past year which he excelled at. He is also a very good punt and kick returner."
Greg: E.J. Gaines is a superbly gifted athlete, another very fast corner who will add immediate depth to Missouri's secondary, and will find his way onto the field sooner rather than later. He has great quickness, and outstanding ball skills. Very few of his high school opponents even threw the ball in his direction.