When Gary Pinkel arrived in Columbia, he made it no secret just how important the state of Texas would be in recruiting to take his program to the next level.
You can't argue with the Tiger's success down there the past few years, largely due to the work of assistant Craig Kuligowski.
"Coach Kugligowski has done a remarkable job in recruiting our school over the past few years," said LaMarque head coach Bryan Erwin. "He signed Dominique Johnson just two years ago, and has made sure to build a great relationship with the entire staff here. He also did a great job of getting on Richard (Jones) and Jared (Perry) very early before others were given a chance."
The signature of defensive back Domonique Johnson also paid huge dividends in the commitment of Jones.
"All of our kids that come out of here are very hard workers, and want to get it done on the football field. Due to that, Missouri has enjoyed recruiting our school, and our players have enjoyed their experiences up there. Richard spoke with Domonique, and heard all the great things he had to say, and felt he was comfortable enough to join him up there," stated Erwin.
Jones, who also received offers from Colorado State and Houston, has received some strong looks from Ole' Miss, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State thus far in May.
"These are 17-year-old kids we are talking about, and I'd be lying to you if I said I thought Richard would just ignore every other school. I'm sure between now and Signing Day, he will have temptation to look at others and will be recruited by others, but he is going to have make up his mind in whether he wants to be a man of his word. You just can't put a lot of pressure on these young guys having to make such big decisions," said Erwin.
In addition to having offered Jones, Missouri also extended an offer to teammate Jared Perry, one of the top wide receivers in the state of Texas. Perry has also received offers from Ole' Miss, Colorado State, Houston, and Oklahoma State.
"Jared has tremendous hands," added Erwin. "He has knack for getting the ball as he goes after it rather than letting it come to him. He has great leaping ability, and he is a strider that has deceptive speed."
"I think it is pretty safe to say that Missouri is the highest on his list right now. I also don't believe he has ruled out making an early commitment so we'll have to see what happens, but you can say he is very high on Missouri, right now."