COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri coach Barry Odom said Wednesday that going forward his staff was going to be more aggressive recruiting as a team and emphasized the importance of position coaches being a part of the recruiting process.
Recruiting with position coaches is nothing new, but coach Odom indicated the Tigers were going to go further in that direction at the expense of the geographical model it used previously.
Assigning assistants to a geographical area allows the team to get a foot in the door on potential recruits and helps it establish connections with high school coaches and players in that area. It’s a process Missouri has used for many years.
But when it comes to recruitment, players are more interested in talking to the coaches they’ll be working with on a daily basis than the one assigned to their high school.
“The position coach relationship is the one that most players indicate is the most important one in terms of them choosing a school. We had a lot of data on that,” assistant coach AJ Ofodile said Wednesday.
Missouri has already started the shift. The vast majority of players in the Tigers’ 2018 class were primarily recruited by their position coaches rather than coaches assigned to the area.
“In the last two recruiting cycles, we’ve done more position recruiting than we have by geography,” Odom said. “... It’s great to geographically identify with a coach that can go in every year and develop relationships with the high school coaches and people in the area. Soon in the recruiting process, the recruit wants to hear from the position coach, too.”
Odom hinted that going forward the Tigers would go after its preferred players with more staff members than it has in the past.
“We’re going to do a lot more team recruiting moving forward because we’ve got a really good staff that are really good recruiters,” he said. “That’s a positive to get as many guys involved in the recruiting process with a certain kid by position. Coordinators are going to be active with all of them.”
TIGERS ADD GRAD TRANSFER: Khalil Oliver, a defensive back from Meridian, Idaho, announced Thursday afternoon on Twitter that he planned on continuing his playing career at Missouri.
Oliver joined the Oregon program in 2014 and redshirted his initial season. The 6-foot-1, 197 pound defensive back went on to record 73 tackles, including three tackles for loss, during his freshman and sophomore seasons. He was named the team’s most outstanding special teams player in 2016.
Oliver started the Ducks’ first game in 2017 but injured his ankle in Oregon’s 77-21 win over Southern Utah. On Sept. 27, he announced his intention to transfer after the season was over.
“This is something that had to do with a lot of other things,” Oliver told The Oregonian about his decision to transfer. “I want to leave the program on a good note and I want my teammates to focus on their year. All I can say is I left for many reasons and I’m happy about the decision I made and I’m excited for the next opportunity.”
Oliver graduated from Oregon in December, which means he would not have to sit out a year before playing. Oliver told the Tribune he will seek a medical redshirt for his 2017 season, which would grant him two remaining years of eligibility.
Missouri had three defensive backs sign in its 2018 class. The Tigers will return both starting cornerbacks from last season in Demarkus Acy and Adam Sparks. Last year’s starting safety Kaleb Prewett, a Blue Springs High School graduate, is currently on an indefinite suspension from the program.