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Collegiate football: who will play where

By: Warren Mayes

Several of the West County football players are among the top recruits in the state.

Here is a look at them.

QB • Brett Gabbert, senior, CBC
Gabbert helped lead the Cadets to the Class 6 state championship. He has made his college commitment and has chosen to go to Miami of Ohio. He completed 196 of 280 passes for 2,862 yards and 33 touchdowns. He had just five interceptions. Gabbert also ran for 168 yards on 46 attempts. He scored three touchdowns.

RB • Bryan Bradford, senior, CBC
Won starting job in preseason and never gave it back for Class 6 state champions. The 6-foot and 210-pound Bradford rushed for 1,505 yards and 28 touchdowns. He was a unanimous first-team, all-state selection by the Missouri Football Coaches Association and Missouri Media. Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Kentucky, Kent State and South Dakota are looking at Bradford.

OL • Ben Stater, senior, CBC
Stater helped opened up big holes as the right guard for the Class 6 state champion Cadets. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Stater helped CBC rush for more than 3,100 yards and 51 touchdowns.

P • Brady Cook, senior, Chaminade
Cook was the Metro Catholic Conference special teams player of the year, Cook averaged an area-best 48 yards on 20 punts. Threw for 1,371 yards, 13 touchdowns and was intercepted eight times at quarterback.

DB • Jalani Williams, senior, Parkway North
Williams is an elite national prospect at safety. Williams had 61 tackles and two interceptions. A unanimous Class 4 first-team all-state selection by Missouri Media and Missouri Football Coaches Association. Williams currently lists Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, and Nebraska as the schools he keeps in closest contact with. He visited Alabama at the end of June, Oklahoma has recruited him for a while and signed teammate Michael Thompson in last year’s class, and Missouri is the in-state school, but he also has good relationships with the staffs at Nebraska and LSU. Williams has said he won’t make a decision until October. He is eyeing fall visits to some schools.

WR • CJ Boone, senior, Parkway North

The speedy 6-foo-3 170-pound Boone has drawn interest from Purdue, Kentucky and Minnesota. Other teams that have expressed interest are Missouri, Indiana and Kansas. Last season, Boone caught 34 passes for 502 yards. He averaged 14.8 yards a catch. He scored five touchdowns.

DE • MJ Anderson, senior, CBC, 6-4 240
Anderson has given the Minnesota Golden Gophers his commitment to play in college. Anderson committed to Minnesota over 20-plus other offers, including schools like Purdue, South Carolina, Arkansas, Iowa State, Nebraska and Kentucky among a number of others. He recently took an unofficial visit to Minnesota for the Gophers annual BBQ-style event, the HYPRR Hangout. He joined fellow DL commit and St. Louis native D’Vion Harris, who goes to Lutheran North. Anderson missed his junior year due to an injury. He’s a prospect that could hold either a 3-tech or 5-tech role at the next level for Minnesota.

QB • Neil Martins, senior, De Smet Jesuit, 6-3, 225
Martins, a three-year starter, is looking at Northwestern, Eastern Michigan, Temple and Northern Iowa. Last season, he completed 97 of 189 passes for 1,647 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had 10 interceptions.

OG • Marquise Simmons, senior, De Smet Jesuit, 6-4, 310
Simmons is looking at Texas State, with Kansas, Iowa State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and New Mexico also interested.

OT • Josh Pohr, senior, CBC, 6-6, 270
Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Columbia and Dartmouth are looking at Pohr.

OG • Jeremiah Marlin, senior, CBC, 6-6, 335
Eastern Illinois has expressed interest in Marlin.

CB • Larry Williams, senior, CBC, 6-1, 190
Ball State, Eastern Kentucky, Indiana State and North Dakota along with Illinois have looked at Williams.

TE • Avery Taggart, senior, Eureka, 6-4, 220
Taggart has committed to Southern Illinois University. Taggart was a big part of the Wildcats’ 12-1 team that advanced to the Class 6 semifinals last season. As a junior, Taggert had 20 receptions for 384 yards and four touchdowns. He also was a standout on the Wildcats’ basketball team last season, too.

TE • Niko Hea, senior, CBC, 6-5, 220
Missouri State, Illinois State, Truman State and Southeast Missouri State are looking at Hea. Last season, Hea caught 12 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

K • Christiaan Masucci, senior, Lafayette
The 6-foot-1 and 160-pound Masucci hit 33 extra points and eight field goals last season for the Lancers. He averaged 48 yards on kickoffs and 33 yards on punts. Masucci’s most recent Kohl’s camp was the National Scholarship Camp in July of 2018. His leg speed will allow him to compete with athletes at the next level. A big fall season will help him gain the confidence needed to compete at the next level. Masucci earned an invite to the Kohl’s Future Stars Event in January of 2018 after a solid performance during the 2017 December Showcase Series. His tall athletic frame allows him to do some special things with the football. Masucci attended the 2017 Winter Showcase Camp in December. He was impressive during the drill work portion of camp. Masucci attended the 2017 National Scholarship Camp. He hit multiple 45+ yard punts at camp.


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