Recruits get role reversal

Monday, December 15, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:16 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

The recruit has become the recruiter. Again.

In the minutes following Rock Bridge quarterback Chase Patton’s oral commitment to Missouri, he went from the most sought-after recruit in the state to the one doing the seeking.

“I would really like if we could get this thing rolling and seal the borders,” Patton said. “I would love to get everybody from Missouri to the University of Missouri. It would be a lot of fun to have that class where we come up through it all together.”

The Tigers had 11 recruits in Columbia on official visits from Friday through Sunday. Most of MU’s visitors are from Missouri, and that is exactly the way Missouri coach Gary Pinkel wants it.

Pinkel and his staff vowed to get 90-percent of the best players in the state when they arrived, a mark that they are moving closer to reaching. Kirkwood’s Arthur Miller also orally committed to Missouri on Sunday morning. Miller is the Tigers’ 17th commitment and the 12th from Missouri.

Miller, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound outside linebacker, runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and will join Rock Bridge’s Van Alexander and New Madrid Central’s Edgar Givens as the future of that position at MU.

Alexander and Rockhurst defensive back Steve Redmond, who have committed and took official visits, did their best to ensure they will have the state’s top talent surrounding them when they begin in August.

That strategy paid off for Missouri with the commitments of Patton and Miller.

As the Tigers practiced for their Independence Bowl matchup with Arkansas, the recruits watched from the sideline. Most of the recruits, that is.

Alexander and Redmond worked the group like politicians, campaigning for Missouri’s best high school talent to join them in building on the success of this year’s MU team.

“Stevie and I tried to round up Chase and Tony Temple and Nick Patterson,” Alexander said. “We kept saying ‘Oh, come on, why don’t you just do it right now?”

Although none of the recruits committed at that moment, Alexander said you could see the wheels spinning in some of their heads.

Temple, a tailback from Rockhurst, made his first of two official visits.

Alexander said Temple was close to committing also, but his parents wanted him to take his visit to Kansas State.

Patterson, a 6-2, 200-pound athlete from Hazelwood Central, is also closer to a decision after the weekend. He visited Ohio State and is considering Notre Dame.

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