Missouri's top 2013 signee headed to JUCO; Tigers get interesting late addition
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]issouri’s highest-rated 2013 signee will have to begin his career at junior college, but the Tigers have added an interesting late addition to the class.
Chase Abbington, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound running back / safety from St. Peters (Mo.) Fort Zumwalt South did not quality academically and will begin his career at Hutchinson, Kan., Community College, according to multiple reports.
Abbington was the only 4-star signee in a class that Rivals.com rated No. 38 nationally and last in the SEC. He rushed for 2,398 yards and 39 touchdowns the past two seasons, and was a standout defensive back.
Several schools recruited Abbington to play defense, but Missouri coaches wanted him on offense. The Tigers return tailbacks Henry Josey, Marcus Murphy and Russell Hansbrough, and playing time could’ve been limited, but Abbington is already significantly bigger the three returnees — none of whom weigh more than 190 pounds.
“He’s one of those kids who can play on either side of the ball, though we’re looking solely at the running back position,” MU assistant Cornell Ford told the Columbia Daily Tribune in February. “I think he’s a change from what you’ve seen from our offense. He kind of goes back to the Derrick Washington days where we had a bigger back. I think he’ll bring some things to the table.”
Abbington says the detour to Hutchinson won’t affect his long-term plans.
“I’m still a Tiger and always will be. I’ll be there soon,” he told PowerMizzou.com
The Tigers have filled one open slot with DeQuinton Osborne, a defensive tackle from Grand Prairie, Texas, according to the Kansas City Star.
As a at junior at South Grand Prairie High, Osborne, was an out-of-shape backup. But an off-season heart-to-heart with the SGP coaches about improving his work ethic and attitude changed the course of his future.
Osborne, 6-1, 295, became a dominant force last season in Texas’ District 7-5A, a recruiting hotbed. He made 54 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks and a fumble recovery — and a big impression on the district’s coaches.
South Grand Prairie coach Brent Whitson and the district’s other coaches raved to recruiters about Osborne, and it got their attention.
“Recruiters will ask all the time, ‘Is anybody getting missed?’ I told them you need to go over there and look at No. 95. He’s a stud,” Cedar Hill coach Joey McGuire told the Dallas Morning News in January.
Osborne received his first scholarship offer — from Southern — in December. UTEP and Indiana State followed. He took an official visit to Texas Tech in January. Nebraska, Baylor, Wake Forest and Tulsa showed interest.
But Osborne still had work to do to become an academic qualifier, and none of the big schools were willing to guarantee him a spot on Signing Day. Just like he did last off-season, Osborne got focused and took care of business in the classroom.
“He needed 3 A’s and a B his last semester and he’d never done that before,” Whitson told the Star, “but he pulled it off.”
Missouri assistant Dave Steckel , who began watching Osborne’s academic progress in early May, quickly arranged for an official visit. Less than a week later, Osborne is a Tiger.
“I honestly think Stec and I have talked every day for a month now,” Whitson told the Star. “Missouri was waiting to see if someone they liked would qualify, rather than give one to somebody they weren’t excited about.”
Osborne was the fourth defensive line signee in Missouri’s 2013 class. He joins 3-star recruits Josh Augusta (Peoria, Ill.), A.J. Logan (Columbia, Mo.- Rock Bridge) and Antar Thompson (Maplewood, Mo.).
Thompson is likely headed to junior college, according to reports.
Photo (Abbington): Roy Sykes / STLhighschoolsports.com