Missouri Football: Tigers Must Adapt to Avoid Falling Behind in SEC Recruiting

Adam SpencerCorrespondent IJuly 25, 2012

February 01, 2012; Springfield, MO, USA; Hillcrest High School senior Dorial Green-Beckham answers questions from media after announcing that he's signing with Missouri University at Hillcrest High School. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

The Missouri Tigers don’t get the same quality recruits as Alabama, LSU, Florida and Georgia on a yearly basis.

That was true when Mizzou was in the Big 12 and it will continue to be true in the SEC.

Though more and more big-name recruits will start considering and signing with Mizzou, it will take years of savvy recruiting to compete with the SEC’s big dogs.

The Tigers took a good first step when they landed Dorial Green-Beckham, the best receiver prospect in the country, this offseason.

But, while Mizzou was landing DGB, Alabama and LSU were busy landing multiple five-star recruits.

So, the 2012 Missouri recruiting class grade will hinge almost entirely on how much DGB contributes to the offense during his freshman season.

Meanwhile, the Tigers are already falling behind in the 2013 recruiting race. Georgia already has four ESPNU Top-150 recruits, Auburn has the nation’s No. 2 recruit, Alabama is working on what will probably be the No. 1 class in the country and even Texas A&M is far above Mizzou right now.

With the way the Tigers’ 2013 class is looking right now, it’s hard to imagine them finishing higher than 10th in the recruiting class rankings.

The Tigers need to do more than just mine the talent from Missouri on a yearly basis.

For this team to be successful in the near future, they need to expand their Texas recruiting base and also expand into SEC regions like Florida to get some top prospects.

It would also help if they could snag some players from neighboring Illinois. LSU has a commitment from Ethan Pocic, a massive offensive lineman from Illinois.

Missouri, meanwhile, has zero five-star recruits and only three four-star recruits (all from the state of Missouri) committed for 2013.

Granted, it’s still pretty early in the recruiting season, but falling this far behind this quickly isn’t a good sign for coach Gary Pinkel and his staff.

Getting more big-name players signed needs to be priority No. 1 for Pinkel until the actual games begin in September.

In the SEC, recruiting is a nonstop activity. If you aren’t recruiting, you are constantly falling behind.

This “win at all costs” mentality might not be a good sign for college football, but that’s what Missouri signed up for when it decided to switch to the SEC.

If the Tigers aren’t going to play the recruiting game, they are going to find it hard to remain competitive.