Tue January 15, 2013
The University of Missouri is about to enter unchartered waters, with their move to the SEC conference and they expect to be competitive in one of the strongest conferences in the NCAA right off the bat. With 18 players from Missouri and 3 from Illinois, the Missouri Tigers are well represented in the Midwest, and those players are being thrust into the spotlight of the SEC.
We recently caught with with Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Kerrick Jackson to get his thoughts on the move to the SEC, as well as their current stable of players and what they will be looking for in the future in players out of the Midwest.
“As opposed to the past, now, almost every weekend we are running into teams that are going to be ranked in the top 25 in the country. With our guys, they will have to go play the same way and do the same things as they have in the past, but now there are no breaks in the schedule,” said Jackson.
Jackson went on to say about the recruiting class of 2012 and the early signees of 2013, “With the class we brought in (2012), the one thing we have been know for here is producing big time arms. Starting with the 2012 class, and now the 2013 class with Devin Williams and Jake Brentz, we have the potential to get back to the first round caliber arms, that we are running out there week in and week out.”
“Positionally, we wanted to get some hard nose guys who can play a bit. Early Class of 2013 signees Ryan Howard (Francis Howell Central) and Jack Klages (Vianney) are going to be some tough baseball players. It was a goal for me moving to the SEC where we there will be 8,000-9,000 people at South Carolina and LSU, no different than Texas, to get those tough kids that won’t get rattled or off kilter because of the elements.”
In terms of recruiting kids, “Based on need, our goal is to get the best players out of the state of Missouri year in and year out and as we move forward to get the best players from the Midwest,” said Jackson. “We also look at the mental toughness part, getting kids who are tough, hard nosed players. Maybe all of the players we get will not be high profile guys, may not be the No. 1 or No. 2 ranked players, we want to get players who play the game the right way and understand the failure aspect and play through that.”