Monday, April 1, 2013
Coach clarifies Mizzou decommit's status
By Damon Sayles
With Sunday’s announcement of Markel Smith (St. Louis/St. John Vianney) decommitting from Missouri, the Tigers were left without a running back in this class -- at least for now.
Smith’s decommitment, according to new coach Paul Day, didn’t happen out of malice or discontent. Day said the 5-foot-11, 210-pound running back simply wanted to make sure he was making the right decision before officially shutting down his recruiting process.
“I talked to Markel a couple weeks ago about it,” said Day, who was introduced as St. John Vianney coach Feb. 14. “I think he just wants to see what else is out there. When he made his commitment, he hadn’t visited anywhere or talked to anyone else. He wants to visit other places and have something to compare to so he can find the right fit for him.”
From a "glass half empty" perspective, the decommitment means Missouri is losing an all-state running back who rushed for 2,405 yards and 29 touchdowns and averaged better than nine yards per carry last season. What coaches are adding -- which makes Smith even scarier -- is that he’s still learning to become a complete running back.
Day, however, somewhat calmed Missouri followers by saying Smith still has “very high interest” in the Tigers. Right now, the process is all about seeing as many schools as possible to make a sound decision in the end. Iowa and Ole Miss have offered, and Kansas State, Nebraska and Wisconsin are among the schools showing interest in Smith.
“There’s a whole list of people recruiting him,” Day said. “The thing is, when he committed so early, I don’t think he’s really looked into it further. I know he’s going to try and take some visits in the summer.
“I know he’s still really high on [Missouri], but he’s just trying to look and see what else is out there. They’ve done a great job recruiting him. They’re all great guys over there, and I know they’ve been through this kind of thing before, but they’re still recruiting him.”