Mizzou's Haith lands a big recruit -- and he's not a transfer
AUG 19, 2013 1:31p ET
Who says Frank Haith lands only transfers?
The Mizzou hoops coach has shown a tendency to create Tigers out of players who started careers at other colleges, but he broke from that groove this weekend when he received a commitment from Jakeenan Gant, a stretch forward from Georgia who will graduate in 2014.
Gant (6 feet 8, 210 pounds) is ranked nationally in every scouting service. He's the 37th-best player in his entire class according to ESPN, the 44th according to Rivals. Scout says he is the 12th-best power forward in the 2014 crop of talent.
Here's how two recruiting experts weighed in on the commitment:
#Mizzou fans, JaKeenan Gant to me is pretty similar to departed Laurence Bowers. Should be a good fit.— Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) August 18, 2013
Jakeenan Gant is a huge pledge for Missouri. Athletic and talented PF— Brian Snow (@BSnowScout) August 18, 2013
Mizzou's roster for 2014 is now full, if commitments stand and no one leaves the team via transfer or the NBA Draft. But transfers happen, and Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson might be NBA-bound if this season goes as well as they hope. For that reason, Mizzou won't shut the door on interested talent just yet.
Keep an eye on Devin Booker. The son of Melvin Booker, a former Tiger hoops star, is a highly rated 2014 shooting guard from Mississippi who recently cut his list of potential schools to Florida, Kentucky, Michigan State and Mizzou.
If Booker wants to come to Mizzou, there will be a spot for him.
I know it's early in his recruitment, but I can't figure out why Mizzou hasn't offered a football scholarship to Columbia, Mo., native and Rock Bridge High School receiver Alex Ofodile.
According to Scout, the 2015 graduate currently holds offers from Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Memphis and Northwestern.
Plus, the 6-3 and probably still growing pass catcher is the son of A.J. Ofodile, who was a 6-6 tight end for the Tigers before he played three seasons in the NFL in the late '90s. A.J. Ofodile is now the head coach at Rock Bridge, where his son plays.
Rock Bridge has produced some impressive talent over the years, guys such as former Georgia tight end Aron White and current Oklahoma fullback Trey Millard. Those two had offers from Mizzou but decided to leave the state. Without an early offer out to Ofodile, it seems like the Tigers could be putting themselves in position to lose another hometown kid who could have helped.
PINKEL CLAIMS FRANKLIN
I like the way Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel dissolved the growing distraction surrounding who would be his starting quarterback this season. Senior James Franklin had some things he needed to prove. He apparently did that, and no one behind him on the depth chart surged ahead enough to make this something that needed to linger all the way to Week 1. By naming Franklin the starter, Pinkel gives the quarterback an important boost of confidence that can only help after a junior year that was torpedoed by injury.
I also like the idea of redshirt freshman Maty Mauk getting some designed plays in games. No better way to prepare the next play caller than by throwing him in the fire.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Have a great first day of class #Mizzou students! GP— Coach Gary Pinkel (@mizzoufootball) August 19, 2013
Follow Ben Frederickson on Twitter (@Ben_Fred), or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.