Posted: 6:19 a.m. Monday, April 22, 2013
By Bill C.
So in all of the swirling storylines (and links) from over the weekend -- the Black and Gold Game, Shane Rector's commitment, and intriguing Mizzou Softball and Baseball series -- I missed something pretty big: Mizzou Football scored another commitment, this time from defensive end Rocel McWilliams of Pensacola, Florida. McWilliams is, like so many Mizzou players have been, an under-the-radar guy whose only other current offers are from Memphis and Old Dominion. But the scouting report is good (they always are, I guess), and Mizzou seems to be establishing a bit of a connection with the folks at West Florida Tech high school. Nate Crawford, a 2013 signee, also attends school there, as does a kicker who will be coming to Mizzou as a preferred walk-on. At some point, we'll need for Missouri to beat out other schools for more proven entities, but the five current Mizzou commits for 2014 certainly have a lot of pure athletic potential.
"Missouri has been recruiting me since last season," McWilliams explained. "Coach Henson has been down talking with me telling me I need stay in the weight room even though I had been hurt last season. Them sticking with me through my injury meant a lot. They didn't put me down. They encouraged me to stick with it and get healthy."
The fact that Crawford will be McWilliams teammate again in one short year was another factor that played a big role in his decision to commit.
"Nate was in my ear telling me that it was a good college and that they really liked me and that we could be the stars of the d-line," McWilliams said. "Then my parents were saying it's a good college too and how much I'd been talking with Coach Henson it just all came into place."
The final key for McWilliams in deciding to commit was the trend of Mizzou defensive lineman making the NFL.
"He’s a very good, very aggressive defensive end," Lees said of McWilliams, the Tigers’ first lineman commitment on both sides of the ball. "He plays down the line very well and plays sideline to sideline. He’s relentless. Takes good angles. He’s what you want up front, because he’s willing to battle.
"He runs real well and he can pass rush, but you can almost put weight on him and put him down in the interior. He’s kind of a tweener guy, but he’s strong enough to take on anyone in front of him."