MU notebook: In-person college football recruiting resumes after long break

Eric Blum
Columbia Daily Tribune

Tuesday marked the first day since early March 2020 that the NCAA allowed on-campus and in-person recruiting across the nation.

Missouri football hasn't wasted any time this week opening the doors to Faurot Field and the South End Zone Complex. 

A few prospects visited Columbia on Tuesday, including Kaian Roberts-Day, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound tight end from Festus. Roberts-Day is a longtime Baylor commit but plays in high school under former MU assistant coach and Rock Bridge head coach AJ Ofodile.

Another prospect to visit campus Tuesday was 6-foot-4, 273-pound Blue Valley (Kan.) offensive lineman Nick Herzog, who reported on social media picking up an offer from the Tigers during his trip.

On Wednesday, Missouri held what has traditionally been one of its biggest on-campus recruiting events of the year, Night at the Zou, with around 20 invite-only prospects visiting Columbia.

Among those in attendance were Francis Howell's Brett Norfleet, Lee's Summit North's Cayden Green, Missouri commit Max Whisner, and Chris McClellan, a four-star prospect rated as the No. 1 defensive lineman from Oklahoma in the 2022 class per the 247Sports Composite.

More prospects are expected to continually visit Columbia the rest of June.

Brooke Wilmes named third-team All-American

For the first time since 2016, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association has named a Missouri softball player to one of its All-American teams. 

Missouri center fielder Brooke Wilmes was named an NFCA third-team All-American on Wednesday, the first MU player to earn that recognition since Emily Crane was named to the first team and Sami Fagan to the third team five years ago. 

Wilmes becomes the 25th Tiger to earn All-American status from any organization in Missouri softball history. Cayla Kessinger was the Tigers' last All-American after being named to Softball America's second team last year. 

Wilmes, Missouri's senior leadoff hitter who started all of the team's 59 games in 2021, batted .373 with 13 home runs and a team-leading 55 RBIs. Her 79 hits were tied for fifth in Missouri history for a single season.

Her individual season totals in doubles, RBIs and runs scored each ranked in the top 10 in program history. Wilmes also led the team with 17 stolen bases. 

Tigers head coach Larissa Anderson confirmed last week that Wilmes plans to use her extra year of eligibility to return to Missouri for her final season in 2022. 

On Feb. 13 against Florida State, Wilmes became the second-ever Missouri player to have five hits in a single game, joining Rhea Taylor.

Wilmes closed the season on a tear, homering in five of Missouri's six NCAA Tournament games. Her five tournament home runs led all players nationwide through Super Regional play.

Weber selected as SEC track and field co-newcomer of the year

Missouri track and field redshirt freshman Mitch Weber was named the Southeastern Conference's male co-newcomer of the year, the league announced Wednesday.

Newcomer of the year is a special honor created by the conference for athletes who had their freshman seasons cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. It recognizes individuals who would normally be a sophomore based on eligibility.

Weber, a Saint Clair, Minnesota, native, was among the best nationally in the men’s discus throw, sitting in the top-three for the discipline for much of the regular season.

His 60.99-meter (200 feet, 1 inch) mark stands as the second-longest throw in the event in school history.

“We are thrilled that the league’s coaches have recognized Mitch’s efforts and performances over the course of the season,” head coach Brett Halter said in a news release. “Mitch has been steady throughout the season. I know he is looking forward to the next few weeks of competition.”

The award is the second of the season for the redshirt freshman. Weber took home second place in the discus at the SEC Championships, missing out on a conference title by two inches.

Weber will represent Missouri and compete for a national championship in the discus at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships from June 9-12 in Eugene, Oregon. 

Contact Eric Blum at eblum@columbiatribune.com. Follow @ByEricBlum on Twitter.

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