Missouri's 2013 recruiting class took a big hit Thursday.
Even with the class all signed up, the Tigers will be without arguably their top offensive signee, as running back Chase Abbington (Saint Peters, Mo./Fort Zumwalt South) is heading to the junior college ranks.
According to PowerMizzou.com, Abbington, who was an ESPN 300 member and ranked as 30th-best athlete in the 2013 class, will enroll at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.
Abbington, who had a chance to contribute right away for the Tigers, told PowerMizzou that he expects to eventually enroll at Missouri, but he now essentially becomes a free agent and will likely get courted by plenty of schools. As for the SEC schools that might be interested, Arkansas is the only one that officially offered him last year, and Bret Bielema probably won't hesitate to add to the running back position in the future.
As for the present, this is a big loss for the Tigers. Sure, they return a bulk of experience to the offensive side of the ball, but you can never have too many players on a roster, especially in the SEC, and Abbington could have helped this team out in the running game, return game, and passing game. With his 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame, he could have been a nice H-back and would have provided a bit of a mismatch over the middle of the field.
Heck, with his size he could even play linebacker. Clearly, he'd have to bulk up some, but he has the frame to line up at multiple positions, which could have been very beneficial for Mizzou this fall.
Now, it's all about making sure he signs when his juco stint is done.