After a summer of camps, a few of the Springfield area’s best football players continued impressing college coaches on Monday night.
But this time, it was with their high school teams as part of the two-day Missouri State University team camp, concluding today at Plaster Sports Complex.
With Bolivar quarterback Rafe Peavey committed to Arkansas, the next in line as most sought after area recruit could be Nixa junior Alec Murphy.
The running back/linebacker attended camps or visits at Mississippi State, Missouri, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Western Michigan this summer, as well as developmental camps, and prospect showcases through Nike and Rivals.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder is now on the prospect map, but has not yet received any scholarship offers.
“It’s been a really busy summer, but I’ve learned a lot and developed as a football player,” he said. “I’m a person who’s really impatient and we just want to get everything going (with my team), so that we’re a well-oiled, touchdown-producing machine.
“I think we’re going to be a really high-energy, fast-paced team once we get everything down.”
The camp, which is run by the MSU football staff, includes Nixa, Central, Kickapoo, Parkview, Glendale and Strafford.
Although it’s the smallest school there, Class 2 Strafford is led by one of the biggest players and talents in senior Jacob Wade.
Wade was named an all-state quarterback by the coaches last season and was tabbed an all-state linebacker by the media. He’s also an all-state basketball player and standout baseball pitcher for the Mid-Lakes Conference school, but spent much of his summer camping for football.
“I went to some lower D-I camps and went to private quarterback coaching,” said Wade, who is 6-4, 235 pounds. “I threw almost every single day with my receivers and it showed that it worked here tonight. We’re all clicking.”
His experienced but young receiving corps features juniors Brady Taylor, Dalton Taylor, Kyle Foley and Dallas Hester, in addition to sophomores Brady Wilson and Blake Lutgen.
Wade had more time to pass than he expected Monday against the Class 5 opponents.
“The O-line really surprised me; they were incredible,” Wade said. “I didn’t get touched one time, which is impressive against bigger schools.”
Wade also caught a pass during a scrimmage, but said Indians fans should not get used to it.
“I was just giving Dallas a rest,” Wade said. “But I like playing receiver and tight end. I love it.”
Another impactful receiver at camp is Parkview junior Connor Ratcliff, who is getting used to new quarterback Anthony Gilliland and is primed for another big season.
“It’s been a good summer, and we’ve been working hard in the weight room, getting better,” said Ratcliff, who said he went to camps at Memphis and Arkansas State. “I just feel like camps helps me more because I see what’s out there, and how much harder I need to work.
“There’s a lot of talent out there in the country.”