Missouri football signs 23 players on National Signing Day

2 years 11 months 1 week ago Wednesday, February 04 2015 Feb 4, 2015 Wednesday, February 04, 2015 3:37:00 PM CST February 04, 2015 in Mizzou Xtra
By: Tyler Greever & Mark Bergin, KOMU 8 Sports Reporters

COLUMBIA - Missouri football officially signed 23 recruits on National Signing Day, for its 2015 recruiting class.

Terry Beckner Jr., the No. 2 overall recruit in the 2015 signing class, according to ESPN, signed with the University of Missouri Wednesday morning.

Beckner Jr. attended East St. Louis High School in Illinois and is a four-star recruit on Rivals.

Missouri also signed quarterback Drew Lock of Lee's Summit High School. Lock is a four-star recruit on both ESPN and Rivals. He is the top recruit from the state of Missouri according to Rivals, and No. 2 in the state according to ESPN.

ESPN ranks Missouri's 2015 recruiting class as the 18th best class in the nation, the highest ranking the Tigers have received since joining the SEC. Rivals has Missouri ranked at 27th, the highest ranking the website has given Mizzou since 2010.

Eight players from Missouri's 2015 class are from Missouri. Here is a map showing where each of the Tigers' commits are from. Each player's height and weight are taken from ESPN.com.

The color of each player's marker designates how many stars ESPN gives that player. Players marked in yellow are three star recruits, players marked in black received four stars, the player in pink is a five star recruit and the player in red was not ranked.

Natereace Strong, a running back from East St. Louis, Illinois, who is rated a four-star player by Rivals and ESPN, is another Missouri recruit expected to be part of this class. He has not signed with the Tigers yet because, according to Pete Scantlebury of PowerMizzou.com, Strong is currently taking junior college courses. Scantlebury tweeted Strong should be a "solid commitment." Both Rivals and ESPN include Strong in their class rankings.

There is a slight increase in the percentage of in-state players in Missouri's recruiting classes, but it doesn't come close to 2013. Here's a look at the percentage of in-state players in Missouri's recruiting classes over the past three years.

2015: 35%
2014: 29%
2013: 52%

Missouri's move to the SEC meant the Tigers would need to push into SEC states with their recruiting. This year, nine of the Tigers' signees are from states with SEC schools in them, excluding Missouri and Texas, two states Missouri was already recruiting in heavily during its time in the Big 12. That is a decrease from last year's class, but Missouri has increased its signings of these players over the past three years.

2015: 9 - 39%
2014: 15 - 54%
2013: 3 - 14%

Missouri does not have one recruit in the 2015 recruiting class from Texas after wide receiver Brandon Martin decommitted from Missouri to go to LSU. This is the first time there has not been a Texas player in a Missouri recruiting class during Gary Pinkel's time as Missouri's head coach.

In terms of the caliber of recruits Mizzou is signing, this year's class is the best the Tigers have seen. It's headlined by one ESPN five-star recruit in Beckner Jr., five Rivals four-star recruits and eight ESPN four-star recruits. Here's a breakdown of the caliber of players Missouri, according to ESPN and Rivals, over the past three years.

Missouri did miss out on two of the top players in the state in Alex Ofodile and Hale Hentges, both from mid-Missouri. Ofodile, rated a four-star player by Rivals and ESPN, is a wide receiver from Rock Bridge who will be attending Oregon. Hentges, rated a four-star recruit by ESPN and a three-star recruit by Rivals, is a tight end from Helias who is going to Alabama.

Recruits have until April 1, 2015 to sign their national letter of intent.

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