With some new faces joining the list of the most highly-touted Tiger recruits ever, let’s take a look back at how some of these players panned out.
Some things to note before I get into this. This is based entirely off of this player’s performance at the University of Missouri, not at any other school or in the NFL. These are the 10 most highly-touted recruits Mizzou has ever landed coming out of high school (based on 24/7 Sports rankings), not including any of the 2022 prospects because they are obviously hard to judge right now.
This is a hindsight look at how we would re-grade the best recruits who have come through Mizzou. If you know what an NFL re-draft is, this is essentially like that.
Defensive Tackle | Class of 2009 | Played 2011-2012 | Saint Louis, MO
College Stats: 112 total tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks
Original All-Time Ranking: 3rd
New Ranking: 1st
Why: I don’t need to tell most Mizzou fans about why Mr. Richardson was so dominant during his time at Mizzou. He was a true run-stuffer in the middle that had some solid pass-rushing skills to boot, and his motor was endless. Whenever he stepped on the field, you knew he was going to give some opposing center/guards absolute Hell for 60 minutes, and that is just the way he liked it. His college career was good enough to get him picked 13th overall by the New York Jets in 2013.
Wide Receiver | Class of 2012 | Played 2012-2013 | Springfield, MO
College Stats: 87 catches, 1,278 receiving yards, 17 touchdowns
Original All-Time Ranking: 1st
New Ranking: 2nd
Why: Let’s start with the positive. Green-Beckham can be attributed with helping to lead the Mizzou uprising upon joining the SEC, as he was immediately a guy who could compete with the best defensive backs the conference had to offer. His great size was his calling card, but Green-Beckham was sneaky fast and could take the lid off a defense. His off-field issues hold him back from being #1 on this list.
Quarterback | Class of 2008 | Played 2008-2010 | Ballwin, MO
College Stats: 60.9 completion %, 6,822 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, 18 interceptions
Original All-Time Ranking: 4th
New Ranking: 3rd
Why: Following in the footsteps of his predecessor before him, Gabbert was a prolific and reliable quarterback for the Tigers. Many wondered if he could live up to the standard set before him by Chase Daniel, but he did that and then some. Gabbert put together two quality seasons as a sophomore and junior, winning 18 games in those two years. This allowed him to be drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 10th overall pick in 2011.
Running Back | Class of 2004 | Played 2004-2007 | Kansas City, MO
College Stats: 466 carries, 2,552 rushing yards, 22 touchdowns
Original All-Time Ranking: 8th
New Ranking: 4th
Why: A Rockhurst product out of Kansas City, Tony Temple left his mark on this Mizzou program. Temple had to wait his turn, but as an upperclassmen he was as consistent as any running back in the country. Temple posted back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in 2006 and 2007, averaging over 5 yards per carry while doing so. Temple would go undrafted out of college but was picked up by the Cleveland Browns before being released.
Terry Beckner Jr.
Defensive Tackle | Class of 2015 | Played 2015-2018 | East Saint Louis, IL
College Stats: 120 total tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks
Original All-Time Ranking: 2nd
New Ranking: 5th
Why: Statistically, Beckner Jr. matches up with any of the guys on the list above him. He came in as the next-in-line at DLU, after the likes of Shane Ray, Markus Golden, and Michael Sam had departed. He certainly lived up to their standard. He was second-team All-SEC in 2018 and posted 11 tackles for loss in each of his final two years with the Tigers. I rank him lower than others purely because he just had less of an impact on the overall team’s success than these other guys did. Beckner Jr. was drafted in the 7th Round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Running Back | Class of 2001 | Played 2003-2004 | St. Louis, MO
College Stats: 244 carries, 1,194 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns, 281 receiving yards
Original All-Time Ranking: 5th
New Ranking: 6th
Why: Nash is probably the perfect middle-ground in these rankings. Everybody above him had high-impacts on their teams, while everyone below him had little impact. Nash was in between, putting forth two solid albeit uninspiring seasons with the Tigers. He rushed for 792 yards in 2004, forming a stellar backfield duo with quarterback Brad Smith. Nash would go on to be drafted by the Tennessee Titans, then moved to the Denver Broncos, playing one season there. Tragically, Damien Nash passed away in 2007 after collapsing following a charity basketball game.
Quarterback | Class of 2004 | Played 2007-2008 | Columbia, MO
College Stats: 58.1 completion %, 256 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Original All-Time Ranking: 6th
New Ranking: 7th
Why: There was a lot of hype surrounding Chase Patton, hailing from local Rock Bridge High School in Columbia. However, the former 4-star was never able to gain any ground on Chase Daniel, who beat out Patton for the backup job in 2005 and never looked back. Patton never got a real shot to prove himself, as Daniel would start in front of him for the entirety of his career.
Defensive End | Class of 2007 | Harrisonville, MO
Original All-Time Ranking: 7th
New Ranking: 8th
Why: Michael Keck is another tough story to talk about. Keck came to Mizzou as another great local defensive line product, yet he was never able to really establish himself on the field due to injuries and a deep depth chart. Keck would transfer to Missouri State after two seasons, but he was knocked unconscious during his first training camp there and retired from football. A few years later, at age 23, Keck passed away due to severe levels of CTE located in his brain.
Offensive Lineman | Class of 2004 | Festus, MO
Original All-Time Ranking: 9th
New Ranking: 9th
Why: For every success story that you see in the Top 5 of these rankings, there is a story of disappointment and strife. Kyle Riggs is one of such stories. Riggs was a promising tackle prospect with great size, and after redshirting in 2004 due to injury, it appeared he was ready to take on a starting role. However, he never developed in preseason camps as the coaches thought he would, and Riggs was third on the depth chart for most of the season. In 2006, Riggs was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and he never played a snap for the Tigers again. He now works as a loan officer with Veterans United.
Offensive Lineman | Class of 2016 | Lincolnton, GA
Original All-Time Ranking: 10th
New Ranking: 10th
Why: Holmes was the only player on this list to come from outside the state of Missouri or the greater St. Louis area, and he was certainly an outlier. The Georgia product hurt his shoulder during preseason camp of 2016 and missed the entirety of that season. He would then leave the program the following year.