Missouri State University has announced the receipt of National Letters of Intent from 19 student-athletes who have committed to play football for the Bears this fall. The class includes 16 high school seniors and three junior college transfers.
“We’re excited about the group we got this year, especially with the local talent and the nine in-state players,” said head coach Terry Allen, who will begin his eighth season with the Bears in 2013. “Losing just 12 seniors from last year’s team, we had a limited number of scholarships available, but we were able to fill some immediate needs with this year’s class, particularly with our three mid-year transfers.”
The recruits are from eight different states, including nine from Missouri and seven from the Springfield area.
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Missouri State’s high school commitments are:
Kurran Blamey, DB, 6-1, 200, Fr., Monett, Mo., Monett High
A well-rounded athlete and play maker, Blamey helped Monett (Mo.) High to a 10-4 record and a trip to the Missouri Class 3 semifinals in 2012 as a standout defensive back and multiple-position offensive threat. He tallied 91 tackles and snagged four interceptions during his senior season. He also rushed for 999 yards and caught 25 passes for 599 yards with 18 total touchdowns for Coach Chad Depee's Cubs. He earned MFCA All-State distinction at defensive back and receiver as well as All-Ozarks first-team and SWMFCA Regional Defensive Player of the Year laurels. He was selected to play in the Blue/Gray All-Star Game in Tampa and recorded a 4.33 40 time with a 35-inch vertical at two combines.
Cecil Bratton, DL, 6-3, 285, Fr., St. Joseph, Mo., Central High
Bratton was a Class 5 first-team all-state and District 9 first-team selection at Central High in St. Joseph, Mo. He helped Coach Jeff Wallace's Indians to back-to-back 6-5 seasons his junior and senior years while earning St. Joseph News-Press All-City honors and all-conference honors in 2011 and 2012. He had 57 tackles and 5 tackles for loss in 2012 after recording 53 tackles as a junior with a pair of sacks and fumble recoveries. Bratton has a 26-inch vertical and recorded a 4.9 time in the 40 to help him earn MVP honors at both the University of Missouri Football Camp and the Shuman Combine in the summer of 2012. He is also a thrower and sprinter on the Central High track team.
Gus Carter, OL, 6-4, 270, Fr., Republic, Mo., Republic High
Carter earned Missouri Class 4 second-team all-state honors as a standout lineman at Republic (Mo.) High. He helped Coach Kurt Thompson's Tigers to back-to-back playoff seasons his junior and senior years, earning all-district, all-Central Ozarks Conference and SWMFCA honors both seasons. In 2012, he was also an MFCA All-State and Academic All-State honoree and earned All-Ozarks laurels. Carter is also a standout shot putter on the Republic track and field team.
Alex Cooley, OL, 6-4, 280, Fr., Lebanon, Mo., Lebanon High
The brother of current MSU starting offensive lineman Zack Cooley, Alex was a three-year starter for Coach Will Christian at Lebanon (Mo.) High. He was an Ozarks Conference honorable mention offensive lineman his last two years and part of two conference championship teams, including a 9-2 campaign in 2012. Cooley is regarded as a versatile lineman who can play guard, tackle or center. He is also a shot putter on the track and field team at Lebanon.
Calan Crowder, RB, 6-1, 200, Fr., Bartlesville, Okla., Bartlesville High
Regarded as a tough, physical running back, Crowder rushed for 1,503 yards on 202 carries (7.4 ypc) this past season at Bartlesville (Okla.) High — the second-most yards by a ball carrier in Bruin history. He also scored 11 touchdowns and secured 15 pass receptions for 187 yards and a pair of scores for Coach John McKee. He earned All-VYPE North Oklahoma first-team offense honors, Oklahoma all-state honorable mention distinction and TulsaWorld all-metro second-team honors.
Sam Ellifrits, OL, 6-6, 285, Fr., Nevada, Mo., Nevada High
Ellifrits earned consensus Class 4 first-team all-state honors as a two-way lineman for Coach Wes Beachler's Nevada (Mo.) High squad. He also earned SWMFCA first-team distinction on the offensive and defensive line, second-team All-Ozarks laurels on the offensive line, and all-district honors on the offensive line in 2012. He was part of an 8-3 squad that advanced to the second round of the state playoffs his senior year and was a second-team all-state pick as a junior as well as all-region his sophomore and junior years. He is also an acclaimed wrestler and baseball player at Nevada.
Erik Furmanek, ILB, 6-3, 240, Fr., Belleville, Ill., Althoff Catholic High
A talented middle linebacker, Furmanek is coming off an Illinois Class 2A state runner-up finish and 10-4 run his senior year at Althoff Catholic High in Belleville, Ill. He earned IFCA 2A first-team all-state, first-team all-conference and all-city honors for Coach Ken Turner's Crusaders in 2012 while being named St. Louis Post-Dispatch Player of the Week in week 10 vs. Chester his senior year. He was named varsity captain by his teammates the last two seasons and also earned all-conference and all-city honors as a sophomore and junior.
Eric Greely, Jr., DB/WR, 6-1, 185, Fr., Liberty, Mo., Liberty High
Greely played the last two seasons at Liberty (Mo.) High where he was a first-team all-conference DB and second-team WR as a senior as well as Class 6 all-district first team pick for Coach Chad Frigon's Blue Jays. In 2012, he collected 15 pass receptions for 324 yards (21.6 ypr) with 4 touchdowns, including 5 receptions and a touchdown in the Class 6 state playoffs. Greely was also an honorable mention all-conference selection at WR and DB his junior season. He has a 34.5-inch vertical and runs a 4.56 40-yard dash. He played his first two seasons at Oak Park High School in Kansas City and was a four-year starter between the two programs. The speedster is also a starter on Liberty's basketball team and a standout sprinter in track.
Shelby Harris, K, 5-11, 225, Fr., Nixa, Mo. Nixa High
A highly-touted kicking prospect, Harris has also earned a number of academic honors, including MFCA Academic All-State three years in a row. On the field, his distinction is equally impressive, knocking through 12-of-16 field goals over the last three seasons, producing 159 points and averaging 55.7 yards per kickoff with 113 touchbacks in that span. As a senior, he was 3-for-4 in field goal attempts, 42-for-46 on extra points, scored 54 points, averaged 56.6 yards on kickoffs and produced touchbacks nearly 70 percent of his kickoff attempts. In 2012, he was a consensus Class 5 all-state pick as well as all-conference, all-district and all-region. He helped Coach Richard Rehagen's Eagles to a 7-5 record and Class 5 playoff run in 2012. Harris was on the 2012 Ray Guy Preseason All-America Watch List and was part of two state quarterfinal runs his freshman and junior years at Nixa.
Darius Ivy, RB, 6-0, 175, Fr., Marked Tree, Ark., Marked Tree High
Ivy was a two-time 3A all-state and three-time all-conference performer for Coach Waylon Dunn's Indians and Marked Tree (Ark.) High. As a senior, he scored 124 points, including 18 rushing touchdowns behind 1,500 rushing yards. He also recovered a pair of fumbles, snagged 2 interceptions and averaged 23.6 yards per kickoff return. As a junior, he rushed for 11 touchdowns and 729 yards and produced, 1502 all-purpose yards with 116 points. He was the 2011 and 2012 conference MVP in football and is also an all-state basketball player.
McKinze James, DL, 6-3, 253, Fr., Camden, Ark., Fairview High
James was part of a perfect 14-0 Class 5A state championship team his senior season for the Cardinals of Fairveiw High in Camden, Ark. He earned all-state and all-conference honors his last two seasons while becoming Fairview's career leader in sacks and No. 2 player in career tackles. His many senior honors also included Golden Triangle and Camden News Defensive Player of the Year, Hooten Magazine Super Team and an Arkansas High School All-Star Game selection. As a junior, he contributed 102 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 8 sacks on the heels of an 86-tackle sophomore season that included 3 sacks. He ran a 4.8 40-yard dash at the Arkansas junior-senior prospect camp last summer and combined to go 42-5 in his three varsity seasons at Fairview. He is also an acclaimed discus thrower for the Cardinals.
Phoenix Johnson, RB, 5-9, 180, Fr., Webb City, Mo., Webb City High
The brother of current MSU running back Maddy Johnson, Phoenix rushed for 1,478 yards and 24 touchdowns for the Webb City (Mo.) High Cardinals of Coach John Roderique as a senior. He earned Class 4 consensus all-state honors his last two seasons while helping Webb City to three consecutive undefeated state title runs (all 15-0) from 2010-12. The Cardinals were a combined 54-1 during his four years, while Johnson racked up 3,816 yards and 70 career touchdowns. He was Webb City's team MVP his junior and senior years while claiming all-conference, all-district and All-Ozarks laurels both seasons. He is also the starting point guard on the Cardinals' basketball team.
Tony Jones, DE, 6-7, 230, Fr., Wynne, Ark., Wynne High
Jones is an athletic defensive end who helped lead Coach Chris Hill's Wynne (Ark.) High team to the Class 5A semifinals this year and a 12-1 record. He earned first-team all-conference honors as a senior. Jones was also a standout receiver for Coach Chris Hill his junior season and helped the Yellowjackets to an 11-3 campaign in 2011. His older brother, Aarion Dixon was an All-SEC defensive lineman at Arkansas. He also plays center for the Wynne basketball team and is a classmate of fellow MSU commit Joseph Stampley.
Joseph Stampley, DB/WR, 6-4, 175, Fr., Wynne, Ark., Wynne High
An Arkansas Class 5A East all-state pick at wide receiver and defensive back, Stampley was part of a 12-1 state semifinal run his senior season at Wynne (Ark.) High. He also earned all-district and all-conference honors as a senior and helped Wynne claim a conference title in 2012. During Stampley's junior season, he helped Coach Chris Hill's club to a 10-3 record while earning all-conference honors. He also plays basketball and is a classmate of fellow MSU commit Tony Jones.
Adam St. Peter, TE, 6-4, 230, Fr., Joplin, Mo., Joplin High
St. Peter was an All-Ozarks honorable mention linebacker pick at Joplin (Mo.) High for Coach Chris Shields. He notched 56 tackles and two sacks as a linebacker and scored 6 touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball. He was a four-time academic all-conference selection, two-time MFCA Academic All-State pick and SWMFCA all-region punter as a senior. He also plays basketball and is an all-conference baseball player at Joplin.
LeMarcus Stewart, AT, 6-1, 205, Fr., Memphis, Tenn., Trezevant High
A two-time Commercial Appeal Best of the Preps selection, Stewart caught 26 passes for 519 yards and 11 touchdowns as a receiver this season at Trezevant High in Memphis. He also returned 4 punts for scores while averaging 22 yards per return as a senior for Coach Teli White. Stewart also intercepted 4 passes and returned 3 of those for touchdowns, accumulated 58 tackles and forced a pair of fumbles during a memorable 10-3 senior season. He was selected to play in the Liberty Bowl All-Star Game and scored a touchdown in that game. For his career, he scored 33 touchdowns and forced a fumble in the 2010 Tennessee Class 4A championship game. He is also a basketball standout for the Bears.
Cameron McLain, OL, 6-4, 295, Jr., Gardner, Kan., Gardner Edgerton High, Coffeyville (Kan.) CC
McLain was a KJCCC all-conference tackle at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College in 2012. He helped Coach Aaron Florez's Ravens to a 6-4 mark as a sophomore. He earned Kansas all-state honors for Coach Marvin Diener at Gardner Edgerton High in Gardner, Kan., as a high school senior in 2009. McLain helped the Trailblazers to a 12-1 finish and 6A state runner-up showing his senior year. He played in the 2010 Kansas Shrine Bowl and was an all-conference, all-county, all-metro and all-state lineman his junior and senior seasons.
Gannon Sinclair, TE, 6-6, 261, Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn., Eden Prairie High, North Dakota State College of Science
Sinclair was an ICCAC second-team all-conference pick and academic all-conference selection his sophomore season at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, N.D. He had 16 catches for 234 yards and a pair of TDs in 2012 for Coach Chuck Parsons' Wildcats. Sinclair played his high school career at Eden Prairie (Minn.) High for Coach Mike Grant's Eagles.
Jeremy Springer, OLB, 6-1, 213, Jr., Villa Rica, Ga., Villa Rica High, Dodge City (Kan.) CC
Springer is coming off a stellar sophomore season at Dodge City (Kan.) Community College where he brought down 50 ball carriers in 2012. He played in every game for Coach Bob Majeski as a junior at Dodge City, and redshirted his freshman year at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. The Georgia native was an all-state selection as a senior in 2009 and was a two-time 4A all-region defensive lineman for Coach Bob Cleveland at Villa Rica (Ga.) High. He was team captain his senior season and also earned all-area laurels.
2013 Missouri State Football Signing Class
Name Pos Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (High School) Previous College
Kurran Blamey DB 6-1 200 Fr. Monett, Mo. (Monett High)
Cecil Bratton DL 6-3 285 Fr. St. Joseph, Mo. (Central High)
Gus Carter OL 6-4 270 Fr. Republic, Mo. Republic High)
Alex Cooley OL 6-4 280 Fr. Lebanon, Mo. (Lebanon High)
Calan Crowder RB 6-1 200 Fr. Bartlesville, Okla. (Bartlesville High)
Sam Ellifrits OL 6-6 285 Fr. Nevada, Mo. (Nevada High)
Erik Furmanek ILB 6-3 240 Fr. Belleville, Ill. (Althoff Catholic High)
Eric Greely, Jr. DB/WR 6-1 185 Fr. Liberty, Mo. (Liberty High)
Shelby Harris K 5-11 225 Fr. Nixa, Mo. (Nixa High)
Darius Ivy DB/RB 6-0 175 Fr. Marked Tree, Ark. (Marked Tree High)
McKinze James DL 6-3 253 Fr. Camden, Ark. (Fairview High)
Phoenix Johnson RB 5-9 180 Fr. Webb City, Mo. (Webb City High)
Tony Jones DE 6-7 230 Fr. Wynne, Ark. (Wynne High)
Cameron McLain OL 6-4 295 Jr.* Gardner, Kan. (Gardner Edgerton High) Coffeyville (Kan.) CC
Gannon Sinclair TE 6-6 261 Jr.* Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie High) North Dakota State College of Science
Jeremy Springer OLB 6-1 213 Jr.* Villa Rica, Ga. (Villa Rica High) Dodge City (Kan.) CC
Joseph Stampley WR 6-4 175 Fr. Wynne, Ark. (Wynne High)
Adam St. Peter TE 6-4 230 Fr. Joplin, Mo. (Joplin High)
LeMarcus Stewart AT 6-1 205 Fr. Memphis, Tenn. (Trezevant High)
*Currently enrolled at Missouri State and will participate in spring drills.