06 February 2011

Mizzou Recruits, Up Close & Personal

Recruits Bring High Hopes
Columbia, MO- The University of Missouri added 17 new recruits to their football program on National Signing Day (February 2), and with the new players comes new hopes for an outstanding season.  Some recruits plagued by injury are looking forward to getting beyond it and making a name for themselves in the college ranks, and while some will not make the final cut, we wish them all the best of luck.  From blog.wearemizzou.com, here is a brief synopsis of each recruit of the 2011 Mizzou football class:

ATH Brandon Hannah (Chaminade College Prep, St. Louis, MO)
Brandon Hannah has been plagued by injuries over his prep career, including an injury that kept him sidelined over his entire senior season.  Rivals.com ranked him at no. 17 overall of any position in the state of Missouri, he even took his school to a basketball state championship in his sophomore year.

OL Brad McNulty (Allen HS, Allen, TX)
Coming from the pipeline state of Texas, the same state that brought us Chase Daniel and Kenji Jackson, Brad McNulty earned 1st-team class 5A in 2010.  Brad recorded 143 pancakes and 107 knockdown blocks in his high school career, including three district championships.

DE Sheldon Richardson (College of the Sequoias, St. Louis, MO)
Sheldon Richardson
Quite possibly the crown jewel of this year's recruiting class.  Sheldon comes from St. Louis, but has been studying at College of the Sequoias in California.  Ranked by rivals.com as the no. 3 junior college player of any position, Sheldon brings speed and strength to the defensive line.  Richardson was ranked no. 1 in the state of Missouri in any position coming out of high school.

DB Ian Simon (Legacy HS, Mansfield, TX)
Sharing the same hometown as FS Kenji Jackson and TE Eric Waters, Ian is a versatile athlete who recored 94 tackles his sophomore season, 72 his junior year and 68 in his senior at Legacy.  With a kickoff return for touchdown and doubling as a track star (two-time regional qualifier), Ian will bring unmatched speed in the defensive secondary.

LB Brandon Durant (Copperas Cove HS, Copperas Cove, TX)
Brandon is coming from a team that went to the state playoffs for four years straight.  After earning 1st-team all state and team MVP honors as a senior, Brandon brings in a nose for the ball that seems to be unparalleled.  Durant was also a district champion in track his junior year.

LB Kentrell Brothers (Guthrie HS, Guthrie, OK)
Ranked by rivals.com as the no. 36 overall outside linebacker, Kentrell comes to us from the Sooner state of Oklahoma.  As a senior, he recorded 100 tackles and 19 sacks.  He may be used as a supplement to Mizzou's receiving corps as also in his senior year, he netted 53 receptions for 1,322 and 16 touchdowns.  (For comparison, T.J. Moe, last year's receiving leader had 94 recs for 1045 yards and 6 TD.)

DL Gerrand Johnson (Rayville HS, Rayville, LA)
Cajun prospect Gerrand Johnson, ranked by rivals.com as the no. 57 defensive tackle prospect and no. 38 of any position in LA, was a three-time All-District at Rayville.  Johnson recorded 84 tackles, 9 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries.

OL Michael Boddie (Gilmer HS, Gilmer, TX)
A three-year starter at Gilmer, Michael Boddie (BAWD-ee) is currently enrolled at the University.  Ranked by ESPN.com as the no. 79 overall offensive tackle prospect, he earned all-state honors in his senior season, despite his season-ending injury.

DB Cortland Browning (Lee HS, Tyler, TX)
A two-timer as 1st-team all district in high school, Cortland brings an excellent knack for getting to the ball and receivers, along with his rivals.com no. 48 cornerback ranking.  His senior year he tallied 56 tackles and 1 interception.  Cortland also ran the 4x400 relay for the track team.

DB Dave Johnson (Spring HS, Spring, TX)
Yet another talented athlete coming out of the state of Texas, Dave Johnson is coming off of a season-ending knee injury his senior season.  Prior to the injury he played 5 games and knocked down the ball carrier 60 times, 3 for loss, and hauled in 2 interceptions.  His junior year he was an Iron Man for the team as he tallied 20 tackles on defense and 15 catches for 400 yards on offense.

LB Clarence Green (Brazoswood HS, Clute, TX)
ESPN.com no. 119 outside linebacker.  A foot injury cut his senior campaign short, but his junior year was met with 131 tackles, including 15 for loss, 7.5 sacks, 4 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptions.  Clarence also ran the 100-m hurdles, 300-m hurdles and also did the high jump in track & field.

Wesley Leftwich
WR Wesley Leftwich (Columbia-Hickman HS, Columbia, MO)
A homegrown talent from this author's Alma Mater high school, Wesley was an early graduate and is currently enrolled on campus.  Rivals.com no. 16 of any position in the state of Missouri, Wesley hauled in 16 catches for 257 yards and 4 TDs in 2010.  In his junior year, Leftwich ran the ball 20 times for 180 yards and 3 scores.  Wesley was also an All-State punter for the Kewpies, as well as an All-District wide receiver.

DB Ernest Payton (A&M Consolidated HS, College Station, TX)
A steal from Texas A&M University, Ernest Payton brings even more depth to a defensive secondary that saw three players leave for the NFL draft.  Considered as a late addition to the class, he fought for 85 tackles and 4 interceptions in his 2010 senior season.

QB Corbin Berkstresser (Lees Summit HS, Lees Summit, MO)
Corbin Berkstresser
Another homegrown talent from the state of Missouri, Berkstresser aired it out for 3,369 yards his senior season for 36 scores, with only 6 INTs against him.  (Blaine Gabbert went for 3,186 and 16 TD, 9 INT.)  Ranked as the no. 3 player of any position in Missouri, Corbin also brings a set of legs as he ran the ball 712 yards and 12 touchdowns.  His junior year, he passed for 1,300 and 7 scores and his sophomore season he netted 1,800 yards and 10 scores.

OL Taylor Chappell (Canadian HS, Canadian, TX)
1st-team All-State in his senior year, Taylor graded at 96% at his position on the line, including not allowing a single sack in his final two years at Canadian.  A two-time state champion, Chappell is ranked as the nation's no. 53 offensive tackle prospect by rivals.com and no. 81 of any position in Texas.  Taylor was a multi-sport star at Canadian, earning All-District honors in basketball as well as a district championship in discus.

DL Shane Ray (Bishop Meige, Shawnee Mission, KS)
From the rival state of Kansas, Shane chose Mizzou over bitter rivals Kansas and Nebraska, as well as Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Kansas State.  Considered to be one of the nation's most talented defensive ends, Shane becomes a second-generation Tiger behind his father Wendell Ray, who played offensive line under Warren Powers in the 1980s.  His senior year saw him earn 100 tackles, 16 for loss, 10.5 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries and a blocked punt.

DL/OL Connor McGovern (Shanley HS, Fargo, ND)
A trench man on the line, Connor helped lead his team to two consecutive North Dakota state titles in his final two years.  Won Gatorade player of the year for North Dakota his senior season, along with 1st-team All-State.  McGovern tallied 89 tackles, 3 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries his senior season.  Played Iron Man for Shanley as he played on the offensive side of the line as well and is considered to be a talented and accomplished blocker.

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