These are a sampling of the state rankings Missourians have grown accustomed to. Whether the topic is literacy rates, or state GDP, or most craft breweries per capita, the Show-Me-State always seems to land somewhere in the middle. When it comes to football, we appear to be no different.
Rivals.com ranked 99 schools based on their recruiting class for 2017. Missouri's class came in at #48. This falls in on the low end of the typical Mizzou class, but in the last five years, the Tigers have never ranked higher than #27. At this mid-range ranking, one or two extra four-star recruits can jump you by ten spots. By any measure, Mizzou is a middle-brow recruiting program. Is this because we aren't doing our due diligence on the recruiting trail? Is it because Missouri isn't a desirable program? Is it because we can't lock down our state borders? Let's take a look.
Missouri has not been a talent hot bed
Alabama - 138
Louisiana - 144
Mississippi - 160
South Carolina - 66
Missouri is doing an okay job of securing in-state talent, but the real story is how Missouri just does not have the vibrant high school football culture that produces droves of college-ready talent. There is good news in all of this though. The map below tells the tale. Most of the players that do come from Missouri originate from the states two large metro areas. Mizzou recruiters can spend most of their attention to St. Louis and Kansas City and be near the majority of the talent. This should leave them plenty of time to dive into Texas, Florida, and Georgia, where there are far more players than there are universities.
There is going to be a much better crop of blue chip recruits from Missouri in 2018, and if Odom and company are doing their legwork, the Tigers should land a few of them. They won't get them all though and that leads to the next point.
Recruiting is inherently unfair ... Too bad
Consistent winning is the only cure ... that or wildly exotic cheating (like Kansas is obviously doing now). Both have proven themselves effective over the years. All this really means though is that while the Tigers won't be filling their roster with 4* and 5* players, they should expect to land three to five of those types annually. Mizzou has done it in the past and nothing other than a mediocre talent pool should stand in the way of doing it in the future.
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