COLUMBIA, Mo. – Three football players announced their commitments to Missouri in a five-hour span Sunday, marking a big finish to what was a productive recruiting weekend for the Tigers.
Athlete Cameron Taylor announced his commitment first Sunday afternoon. He was followed by linebacker Chad Bailey later in the afternoon and wide receiver Kam Scott in the evening.
The players announced their commitments on Twitter. Missouri now has 10 known commitments in its 2018 class, five of whom were announced during the weekend.
Taylor and Bailey attended Missouri’s “Night at the Zou” recruiting camp Friday on Faurot Field.
"After taking a visit, I couldn't help but commit," Bailey said in a phone interview. "The coaches keep it real up there. That's one of the big reasons."
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Bailey, from Ridge Point High School in Missouri City, Texas, is rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, and he has a three-star rating from 247Sports.com, Scout.com and ESPN. He’s the first player with a four-star rating from Rivals to commit to MU’s 2018 class.
Rivals ranks Bailey as the eighth-best inside linebacker prospect in the 2018 class, and he’s ranked 16th at the position by 247Sports’ composite.
Bailey’s other offers include Colorado, Houston, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Purdue and Texas Tech, according to Rivals.
As a junior, Bailey made 99 tackles, including five sacks, and intercepted two passes, according to MaxPreps.com. He said defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross told him that Missouri plans to use him as a middle linebacker. Bailey described his playing style as "aggressive and fast."
Bailey's former high school teammate, Terry Petry, is a freshman cornerback at Missouri who signed as part of the 2017 class.
The 6-foot, 195-pound Taylor, from Park Crossing High School in Montgomery, Ala., has a four-star rating from ESPN and is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and Scout.
Taylor projects as a safety for Missouri. He played quarterback as a junior for Prattville High School in Alabama. Taylor transferred to Park Crossing after the season.
Taylor’s other offers include Cincinnati, Connecticut, Iowa State, Michigan and Mississippi State, according to Rivals.
“I believe in my heart this is the school where I want to be,” Taylor wrote of Missouri in his commitment note he posted to Twitter.
The 6-3, 175-pound Scott, from Manvel High School in Texas, is rated a four-star prospect by ESPN and a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and Scout.com.
Scott also has offers from Baylor, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State, Louisville, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah, among others, according to Rivals.
As a junior, Scott caught 27 passes for 438 yards and three touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.com, and added 139 rushing yards and two TDs.
With Bailey and Scott casting their lot with Missouri, the Tigers now have five 2018 commitments from Texas.
On Friday, Vincent Gray announced his decision to attend Mizzou with one word and an image.
“Committed,” Gray wrote on Twitter on Friday afternoon above a photo of him wearing a Missouri jersey.
Missouri coach Barry Odom and Cross have discussed a desire to shift toward taller cornerbacks, and Gray fits the bill.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior out of Adams High School in Rochester, Mich., is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and Scout.com. He does not have a star rating from ESPN.
"Vincent is a real smooth, long, matchup corner,” Adams coach Tony Patritto said in a phone interview. “He's kind of what everybody's looking for because of the size of wide receivers now, especially in” the Southeastern Conference. “He’s got long arms, long legs. He's got great natural hips. He's got good instincts as a cover guy.”
Gray, who also plays wide receiver for Adams, was the second player to announce his commitment to Missouri on Friday.
Linebacker Cameron Wilkins of Del Valle High School in Texas announced his pledge earlier in the day.
Gray was coveted by a long list of schools. He has offers from Army, Boston College, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oregon State, Purdue, Syracuse, Virginia and Washington State, among others, according to Rivals.
He visited Missouri last week.
Wilkins visited this week.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Wilkins, a senior at Del Valle High School, is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and Scout.com. He does not have a star rating from ESPN.
Wilkins also has offers from Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico, SMU, Texas State, Texas Tech and Tulsa, according to Rivals.
“He’s a physical tackler,” Del Valle coach Charles Burton said in a phone interview. … “When he hits you, you know he hits you. He covers tons of space from sideline to sideline. He’s just athletic. He’s great in pass defense. He’s one of the few ones you could play that wouldn’t have to come off the field in certain packages. He can be an every down linebacker for you.
“There’s not too many things that Cameron can’t do. Whatever it is that they decide they want him to do – whether it’s covering backs, getting into coverage or blitzing – he can do it all.”
Wilkins made 56 tackles his junior season, according to MaxPreps.com. He also plays running back for Del Valle, and he tallied 452 yards on 82 carries with five touchdowns.
KICKOFF TIMES SET: Missouri’s football season will get an early start.
The Tigers will kick off their Sept. 2 season opener against Missouri State at 11 a.m. on Faurot Field. The Southeastern Conference announced the game time on Tuesday. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. The conference also announced that Missouri’s Sept. 16 home game against Purdue will kick off at 3 p.m. and will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
This will mark the second straight season Missouri will open with a game that kicks off at 11 a.m. Central time. Last year, the Tigers opened on the road against West Virginia.
Only one SEC team will get its season started before Missouri. That’s Arkansas. The Razorbacks will host Florida A&M at 7 p.m. Aug. 31.
Missouri will begin the season with four straight home games. Three of those game times have now been set, as it was previously announced Missouri’s Sept. 9 game against South Carolina will kick off at 6 p.m.
The Nov. 24 game at Arkansas has also been announced as a 1:30 p.m. starting time.
HOWARD SET FOR PLEA HEARING: Missouri's suspended defensive end Nate Howard is scheduled for a plea hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Boone County Courthouse, according to online court records.
Howard faces a Class D felony charge of possession of a controlled substance stemming from his June 14 arrest. Police say they found psilocybin mushrooms in the trunk of Howard's car following a traffic stop, according to the probable cause statement. Howard's attorney, Christopher Slusher, entered a not guilty plea on Howard's behalf on July 13.
Howard, a junior who has 15 tackles in 15 career games, exited the spring as one of the top candidates to earn a starting spot on the defensive line. He has been suspended since his arrest.
University policy states that any athlete facing felony charges will remain suspended until a judgment is reached in the case. If the athlete pleads guilty to the felony charge or is convicted of the felony, the athlete is permanently barred from competing in athletics for any school in the University of Missouri system.
Missouri opens preseason camp on Tuesday.