Missouri Tigers: Recruit DE Nate Howard Commits


Sometimes, a change of heart is a good thing. For the Missouri Tigers’ recruiting efforts, this one definitely is.

Late Friday night, St. Louis Ladue defensive end Nate Howard flipped his commitment from Wisconsin to Missouri. Howard gives the Tigers their 22nd commitment of their 2015 class, which is starting to fill up five days away from National Signing Day.

Howard pledged to Wisconsin in the summer before his senior year, but reopened his commitment after the Badgers’ head coach Gary Anderson left for Oregon State. He took a visit to Mizzou after visiting last weekend.

In addition to Wisconsin, he also was looking at Illinois, Indiana, and Syracuse.

It looked like the Tigers’ chances with Howard were gone about a month ago. He cancelled his official visit and it appeared he was no longer considering Missouri.

Missouri kept heavily recruiting him, and then he took the visit after all. A week later, he announces he’ll play in Columbia.

Sep 20, 2014; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Charles Harris (91) attempts to tackle Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Nate Sudfeld (7) during the first half at Faurot Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

He is 6-foot-5 220 lbs, and an athletic pass rusher. He explodes off the line of scrimmage either standing up as an outside linebacker or putting his hand on the ground as a defensive end. He also does a great job jumping up defending passes at the line of scrimmage.

Howard joins Marcell Frazier and last week’s commit Tyrell Jacobs as the class’s defensive line commits.

There may be two or three spots left, and there may be some surprises next Wednesday. Defensive lineman and top priority Terry Beckner Jr. is on campus this weekend for his official visit.

Missouri Tigers
Missouri Tigers /

Missouri Tigers

With Frazier, Jacobs, and now Howard, Gary Pinkel is starting to refill his stable of talented defensive linemen. Position coach Craig Kuligowski will have plenty of good pieces to work with to reload his rotation after he loses four studs from 2014.

Breakout interior linemen Harold Brantley and Josh Augusta will solidify the interior. Charles Harris and Marcus Loud were backups to Shane Ray and Markus Golden, and will be front runners to take the jobs at the end positions.

Redshirt freshmen Rocel McWilliams, Spencer Williams, and Walter Brady will also be in the mix for playing time.

Throw in the three newcomers and the Missouri Tigers’ defesnive line is starting to become one the deeper positions when it comes to talented, albeit inexperienced players.

Though they’re not done adding players, Missouri’s 2015 recruiting class is shaping up to be one of Gary Pinkel’s finest since coming to Mizzou in 2001.

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