Missouri recruiting capsule

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin


Recruits: 25

Breakdown: 22 high school, three junior college.

Positions: 5 DB, 4 OL, 4 LB, 4 DL, 3 WR, 2 QB, 2 TE, 1 TB.

Where they came from: Missouri 10, Texas 7, Pennsylvania 1, Ohio 1, Arkansas 1, Nevada 1, Illinois 1, Florida 1, California 1, Louisiana 1.

The stud: TE Sheldon Richardson, St. Louis, Mo. (Gateway). Maybe Gary Pinkel is just trying to humor Richardson by listing him as a tight end, although he had a unique statistical line as a senior in high school with 19 sacks, 27 receptions and eight touchdown grabs. But I'm betting the 290-pounder turns into a pass-rusher during his college career rather than a pass-catcher.

Recruiting-class sleeper: TB Kendial Lawrence, Rockwall, Texas (Rockwell-Heath). Decided late on Missouri and might be the most underrated running back to arrive among the conference's recruits. Lawrence rushed for 2,681 yards and scored 43 touchdowns last season and should get immediate playing time because the Tigers are down to two scholarship running backs.

The one who got away: RB Ronnie Wingo, St. Louis (University): Gary Pinkel hasn't been beaten for a top recruit in St. Louis very often in recent seasons. That's why the departure of Wingo for Arkansas is surprising.

Needs addressed: Offensive line, tight end, quarterback, defensive back.

Still lacking: Wide receiver.

Scouts Inc. grade: C+ (sixth in the Big 12, first in North Division).

My take: The Tigers addressed specific needs, filling positions where they really needed players immediately. Pinkel used the same formula this season as in previous years by claiming most of the top recruits in Missouri and a slew of underrecruited prospects from Texas. That formula helped push the Tigers to back-to-back Big 12 North titles. But it will be interesting to see whether it will still work as Missouri now battles a resurgent Nebraska program.