Twenty-three standout student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Missouri and play football for Head Coach Gary Pinkel, as announced today by Mizzou’s head coach.
Momentum from Mizzou’s historic 2007 season which saw the Tigers win a school-record 12 games and claim the Big 12 Conference North Division title, as well as the Cotton Bowl championship, undoubtedly carried over into recruiting efforts this year. Mizzou’s coaching staff has assembled a recruiting class which was ranked today by Rivals.com as the nation’s 24th-best recruiting class overall, based on their point system. The Tiger class stood as 5th-highest in the Big 12 according to Rivals, which is the best showing in Pinkel’s time at Mizzou, beating the previous bests of 6th in 2003, 2004, and 2007.
The top-25 ranking for the class of 23 high school standouts marks the highest ranking under Pinkel. The previous six classes rated, according to Rivals: 29th in 2002, 28th in 2003, 29th in 2004, 39th in 2005, 47th in 2006 and 33rd in 2007.
Mizzou fared perhaps as well as it ever has in-state, as it signed seven of the state’s top-10 players, according to Rivals, including five-star blue-chip quarterback Blaine Gabbert (Ballwin, Mo.), who was rated as the state’s top-rated player, as well as the nation’s top-ranked pro-style quarterback prospect. Nine in-state standouts in all signed with MU this year.
The Tiger coaching staff continued its outstanding work mining the pipelines of Texas, as it signed 12 Lone Star state student-athletes. Mizzou also signed one student-athlete each from the states of Iowa and Michigan. According to the Rivals.com rankings, Mizzou’s 2008 recruiting class rates ahead of 44 other schools that participated in bowl games during the 2007 season. Just a handful of the other bowl teams from last year that Missouri bettered include: Maryland (31st), Boston College (32nd), California (33rd), Tennessee (34th), Kansas (38th), Arkansas (39th), Penn State (40th), Wisconsin (41st), and West Virginia (42nd), among many others.
Five different position groups were ranked among Rivals’ top-25 classes, including quarterback (1st in the nation), tight end (15th), defensive back (20th), offensive line (21st) and defensive end (25th).
"We are very pleased to have such a talented group join our program and our University," said MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel. "I feel that this is an outstanding class that will help the program continue to move forward. We’ve had a great season, and it is good to see the excitement about our program, in the state of Missouri, and around the country. I don’t think there’s any question that this season helped, and I’d like to commend the efforts of our entire staff who worked so hard to make this happen. As always, we continued to emphasize keeping the best Missouri kids home, and we feel very good about our success there, and of course, our hard work in the state of Texas has paid off again." he said.