A crucial part to college football recruiting is getting the best in state talent. Some schools have mastered this practice, like Texas, Ohio State, etc. For other schools, they see their in state talent travel out of state to play football, and it cripples their recruiting morale.
When Gary Pinkel arrived at Mizzou, the Tigers barely had a grip on the best talent in the state of Missouri. Schools like Nebraska and Illinois would swipe some of the best players from Missouri. Since Rivals began ranking top recruits by state in 2003, the Tigers have improved vastly. Take a look at the following figures:
2003: Missouri gets 4 of the top 10 in Missouri
2004: Missouri gets 7 of the top 10 in Missouri, including the #1 player in the state, Chase Patton. Whoops.
2005: Missouri gets 5 of the top 10 in Missouri. #1 DJ Hord goes to Notre Dame.
2006: Missouri only gets 3 of the top 10 in Missouri. #1 Josh Freeman goes to Kansas State. #2 Adrian Clayborn goes to Iowa and becomes an All American.
2007: Missouri gets 4 of the top 10 in Missouri. One of which being Michael Keck, who freaks out upon getting to college and ends his career in the D2 ranks. 2 of the top players from Columbia, MO choose the Georgia Bulldogs.
2008: Missouri gets 7 of the top 10 in Missouri, including Blaine Gabbert
2009: Missouri gets 4 of the top 10 in Missouri; All American Montee Ball selects Wisconsin
2010: Missouri gets 5 of the top 10 in Missouri, including the top 3 in the state.
2011: Missouri only gets 1 of the top 10 in Missouri. OUCH.
2012: Missouri gets 5 of the top 10 in Missouri. Most importantly the #1 player in the country, DGB.
2013: Missouri already has 6 of the top 10 in Missouri. 1 of the top 10 committed to Kansas after not getting a Mizzou offer. The other 3 still have Mizzou in their final picks.
Obviously, with these numbers you can see that Mizzou hasn’t quite “locked” the border completely down. However, so far this year, the Tigers have a chance to have 8 or 9 of the top in Missouri. That kind of success would be a whole new level for the Tigers.