With the SEC season less than three months away, here’s a look at the potential impact freshmen for each team. Recruiting rankings are based on the 247Sports Composite which calculates the average of all four major recruiting websites (247Sports, Rivals, ESPN and Scout.)
11-3 (7-1 SEC); 1st SEC East
2015 Team Ranking
National Rank No. 25
SEC Rank: No. 12
Top Incoming Prospects
- DT Terry Beckner Jr.- 5-star, East St. Louis (East Saint Louis, IL), 6-4, 293 lbs, No. 3 DT, No. 13 overall
- PRO Drew Lock- 4-star, Lee’s Summit Sr. (Lees Summit, MO), 6-3.5, 205 lbs, No. 7 PRO, No. 96 overall
- RB Chase Abbington- 4-star, Hutchinson C.C. (Hutchinson, KS), 6-2, 210 lbs, No. 2 JUCO RB, No. 19 JUCO overall
- OT Tyler Howell- 3-star, Butler C.C. (El Dorado, KS), 6-9, 302 lbs, No. 5 OT, No. 26 overall
- ATH Marcell Frazier- 3-star, College of Siskiyous (Weed, CA), 6-4, 250 lbs, No. 2 SDE, No. 31 overall
It’s hard to believe that a team coming off back-to-back SEC Championship game appearances ranked twelfth in a conference of 14. It’s even more impressive that said team found its success while consistently being out-recruited by its counterparts since joining the conference.
Since 2012, Missouri hasn’t ranked higher than No. 11 among SEC teams. Yet head coach Gary Pinkel has gotten the most out of his prospects who’ve exceeded expectations.
Reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year and current Denver Broncos pass rusher Shane Ray ranked as a three-star prospect. Dorial Green-Beckham — who was dismissed prior to his junior season — was the team’s only five-star prospect.
That is, until last February when Missouri signed Terry Beckner Jr., the nation’s No. 13 overall prospect. The 6-foot-4, 293-pound Beckner was cleared by the NCAA in June after improving his ACT score and should make an immediate impact for the Tigers.
Missouri has an opening at defensive tackle following the departures Matt Hoch and Lucas Vincent. Harold Brantley was favored to fill the void, but was recently involved in a serious car accident and is still recovering. Beckner will, at least, see a respectable amount of playing time as a true freshman.
JUCO transfer Chase Abbington could see also see playing time behind senior Russell Hansbrough. Abbington graded as a four-star prospect and provides a large frame at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds compared to the 5-foot-9, 195-pound Hansbrough.
The former Hutchinson Community College running back rushed for 832 yards and nine touchdowns. He also averaged 75.6 yards per game.
Missouri will need to fill the void at wide receiver after losing its three top receivers. Smith graded as a three-star prospect but could be another diamond in the rough for the Tigers. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound freshman the elite size and the raw ability to develop into an elite SEC receiver.
Missouri may not have the best class in the conference but has consistently exceeded expectations since joining in 2012. The Tigers coaching staff has gotten the most of its players and turned three-star prospects into NFL Draft picks.
The 2015 class may not look impressive at first glance but could prove to be solid long-term. Missouri has consistently exceeded expectations and its incoming class may continue its success.