Wednesday marked the beginning of the early signing period for college recruits, and two of Missouri coach Quin Snyder’s four recruits have signed on.
Kalen Grimes, a power forward from Hazelwood Central High in St. Louis, signed with the Tigers at a press conference at the school Wednesday morning. Guard Jason Horton signed at Cedar Hill High in surburban Dallas.
Marshall Brown, a forward from Austin, Texas, said he plans to sign with the Tigers today.
The Tigers’ fourth recruit, Glen Dandridge, a forward from Durham, N.C., will sign Nov. 19. He said he wants the time to review the paperwork.
Grimes, who at 6-foot-8 is a low post presence, has earned attention because of his dominant AAU play with the St. Louis Eagles. He considered Illinois, Kansas, and Kentucky before choosing Missouri.
Grimes scored 13.3 points and added 9.4 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game during his junior season. Rivals.com ranked him the No. 18 power forward in the nation and No. 63 overall.
Grimes is a top contender for Missouri’s Mr. Basketball Award for 2004. If he wins it, he will be the third consecutive Mr. Basketball to attend Missouri, after Jimmy McKinney in 2002 and Spencer Laurie in 2003.
Horton is a flashy, 6-foot-1 guard who averaged 18.6 points in his junior season. Rivals.com ranks him the No. 10 point guard of the 2004 class and No. 49 overall.
Cedar Hill coach David Milson said Horton’s speed is what sets him apart.
“He’s getting from the top of the key to the basket in three dribbles while we have other players taking six or seven,” Milson said. “He’s so quick, you really don’t notice if he has the ball or not.”
Although speed is Horton’s main asset, his strength is also improving daily.
“He’s gotten much stronger,” Milson said. “He’s been lifting since he was a freshman, but his body is just now starting to mature.”
Horton is the younger brother of Michigan sophomore Daniel Horton.
As a junior at L.B. Johnson High, Brown scored 24 points per game and averaged seven rebounds. Rivals.com ranked him the ninth best small forward and No. 54 overall.
“I’m glad to get (the recruitment process) over with,” Brown said. “It was a long process.”
Recruiting analysts said Brown has significant potential as a scorer. He first appeared on the recruiting map after several high-scoring scrimmages at Farleigh Dickinson’s ABCD Camp.
Dandridge averaged 16 points in 2002-03 at Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C. Rivals.com rated Dandridge the as the No. 24 small forward and the No. 116 overall recruit.
So far, the NCAA’s ongoing investigation of the Missouri program does not appear to bother the recruits that have signed.
“I think it probably entered (Horton’s) mind a little bit at first,” Milson said. “But I don’t think that bothers him now.”
Bob Gibbons of Hoopmasters.com ranks the recruiting class No. 13 in the country.