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May 14, 2013
Mizzou In The Hunt For Florida Safety
When the New York Jets made Sheldon Richardson with the 13th selection in last month's NFL Draft, it marked a significant achievement for Mizzou football. At that moment, only one school in the nation had more first round draft picks in the last five years than Missouri. That school is two-time defending National Champion Alabama.
With the recent draft success, Mizzou's coaches were quick to start promoting it. Graphics and photos were posted on social media sites. The Twitter hash tag "#MizzouMade" was used by coaches and quickly caught on with fans. It also caught the attention recruits.
When asked what he knows about Missouri's football program, 3-star safety Tony Fields has Mizzou's sales pitch memorized.
"I've looked at the depth chart and I feel like I'd have a chance to play early," he said. "And I know they've had six first round draft picks in the last five years."
That NFL success is enough to earn anyone's attention, even a highly touted player like Fields, who lives in Florida State's backyard and right in the heart of SEC country.
"Missouri's a great program," he said. "I was happy when they offered because I know they just moved to the SEC and I know they've done well in the NFL Draft."
Mizzou entered the competition for Fields about "a month or two ago." The Tigers join a growing list of suitors including Auburn, Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and USF.
He says he's hearing the most from Louisville and Auburn but talks to Missouri's Pat Washington about once a week.
Fields describes himself as "a leader on the field," a "playmaker," and "a ball hawk." He's planning on taking as many visits as he can this summer before committing to a school before the start of his senior year. He says Mizzou is a possibility for one of the schools that will land a visit.
While Fields was originally looking to stay close to home, he's reconsidered that thought.
"At first, I was looking to stay close [to home], but then I realized I have to go wherever is best for me."
PowerMizzou.com will keep you updated on whether or not that place ends up to be Missouri.