Missouri Tigers Add Three-Star WR Harry Ballard


The Missouri Tigers came away with a surprising late addition to their 2016 recruiting class on Tuesday evening.

Generally, a big-time Division I football program, especially one in a conference as respected as the SEC, wraps up its recruiting on National Signing Day, which took place last Wednesday. The Missouri Tigers made a second late addition to this year’s class on Tuesday night, however, as wide receiver Harry Ballard committed to join the Tigers this fall. Ballard, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound wideout out of McCluer North High School in St. Louis, was ranked as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com. He also had offers from Illinois and Iowa State. Ballard followed junior college quarterback Jack Lowary, who committed to the Tigers last Thursday, as the second post-NSD addition to the class.

According to an article last month from stltoday.com’s David Kvidahl, Ballard needed to improve his score on the ACT, which he took for the fifth time this past Saturday. Via Kvidahl:

"Ballard’s current ACT score of 18, combined with his 2.1 cumulative grade point average in his core classes, is just enough to allow him to redshirt his freshman year at a Division I program. He could be on campus and with the team but could not play until his sophomore year after he met certain academic criteria. But if Ballard scores a 19 or better on Feb. 6, he will be eligible for a Division I program in the fall."

Assuming that Ballard upped his score–which is a rather safe assumption considering that Ballard didn’t get an offer from Mizzou’s St. Louis recruiter, Cornell Ford, until Tuesday night–he’ll be eligible to start playing this fall. It’s highly unlikely that he’ll actually see the field as a freshman, as Alabama transfer Chris Black and JUCO addition Dominic Collins will join a receiver group that already includes returning contributors such as Cam Hilton, Nate Brown, and J’Mon Moore. Nevertheless, it’s good to have the option of using him if he ends up proving himself as an immediate contributor and shows the skills to jump those players on the depth chart this fall.

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Because of the makeshift recruiting class that Barry Odom had to put together following his appointment as head coach in early December, as well as the strong existing base of talent that Mizzou already has, Ballard was just the 23rd player among 25 that Mizzou is permitted to sign this year. He would have been the 24th, but defensive end Marvin Terry, who had been committed to the Tigers, had his scholarship offer pulled last week after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault.