Ford making noise on the trail

Missouri just completed the 2013 recruiting cycle with the nation’s No. 38 class according to 247Sports.

Missouri cornerbacks coach Cornell Ford signed more than one third of the Tigers' 2013 class, including six in-state prospects.

The 20-man class was heavy on in-state talent as 11 prospects from the Show Me State inked or enrolled with the Tigers.

While his name did not appear on any national top recruiters list, spearheading the effort for Mizzou in this cycle was cornerbacks coach Cornell Ford.

Ford landed seven prospects, six from Missouri, including four-star athlete Chase Abbington (long term projection as a safety by 247Sports, but will start off at running back at Mizzou) of Fort Zumwalt South, Offensive tackle Harneet Gill of Francis Howell, linebacker Eric Beisel of Rockwood Summit, athlete Aarion Penton of Christian Brothers College, offensive lineman Alec Abeln of St. Louis University School and defensive tackle Antar Thompson of Maplewood-Richmond Heights. He also crossed into the Land of Lincoln and landed four-star defensive tackle Josh Augusta out of Peoria, Ill.

After the Tigers beat Michigan State and Illinois on Augusta, the 6-foot-5, 295-pounder cited the Mizzou coaches, including Ford, as a big reason for his commitment.

Ford recruits the state of Illinois and the always-important greater St. Louis area for the Tigers. In the Southeastern Conference, the programs that are successful recruit their own states well and this recruiting cycle, Mizzou landed seven of the top 12 in-state.

It’s also important to recruit excellent defensive linemen and Augusta and Thompson (provided he qualifies) are two prospects that fit the mold of the type of jumbo athlete needed to compete in the SEC.

Ford already is off to an excellent start in-state for the 2014 cycle. Running back Markel Smith (St. Louis, Mo./St. John Vianney) committed to Ford and the Tigers on Nov. 1. Top247 offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (Florissant, Mo./Hazelwood Central) also is in Ford’s area and has Missouri high on his list early. There will be plenty of additional targets to emerge moving forward in-state and the state of Illinois is going to have one of its deeper years in the 2014 cycle. So Ford is set up to continue his good work on the trail for the Tigers.

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