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May 20, 2013?
Word started to spread last Thursday night that a new Missouri prospect had picked up an offer from Mizzou. That prospect was 2014 Lamar (Mo.) offensive lineman/defensive lineman Sam Bailey. Due to preparations he and his twin brother Ben Bailey were going through for the state track meet, though, Sam did not know anything about it.
"My family did a good job keeping it a secret from me while I was at the state track meet," the 6-foot-5 and 245 pound lineman explained. "They didn't want me to worry about it. They wanted me to focus on throwing the disc."
And it worked as he and his brother finished first and second at the state meet with Sam taking the championship with a throw of 170 feet 2 inches.
When he got back home Sam was finally able to talk with Tiger offensive coordinator and co-offensive line coach Josh Henson and receive his scholarship offer.
"It's pretty nice to get the offer," he said. "I was shocked by it and taken back a little bit. It took me a little while to realize what was going on. It was nice way to end a crazy weekend."
In talking with Josh Henson Sam was told which side of the ball Mizzou projects him at going forward and it just so happens to be the side that he was wanting.
"They're looking at me as an offensive tackle, but I can play wherever they want me to play. If they want me on the defensive line, I can do that. If they want me to long snap, I could also do that," explained the multi-sport athlete.
"I would go with offensive tackle because it comes more naturally to me even though I like hitting people on defense," Sam answered when asked which position he prefers. "I feel like I'd fit better on the offensive line."
Sam already has a good feel for the Mizzou campus and facilities having made multiple trips to Columbia in the past.
"I went to their three day camp and I went to their first SEC game against Georgia. It was a pretty nice game day atmosphere. I really liked that," he said. "I also got a tour of their facilities and saw the weight room which is very nice. Also saw their cafeteria and dorms and I thought it all looked really nice."
When Sam starts to think about the factors or qualities in a school that will go into his decision their is one requirement that he feels will be the most important.
"I'm hoping that they also offer my brother so it would make my decision a little bit easier. I'm not sure if I want to go to college with my brother or not, but it would be nice to have that option to go with him. That's kind of the big factor that I'm waiting on," he explained.
Currently, Army is the only school to offer both of the brothers, but they expect that to change as they are also receiving interest from Memphis, Kansas State, and Tulsa. Additionally, according to Sam, an offer for Ben from Mizzou might not be that far off.
"They want to see him in camp because he's a little bit lighter than I am and Coach [Gary] Pinkel is a little bit concerned about that," he said. "I would say that they're close to offering him too. We're going to their three day camp again this year so they'll get a chance to see him."
PowerMizzou.com will have updates on any new developments in the recruitment of Sam and Ben Bailey.