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May 4, 2011Anytime Missouri lands a commitment from a Texas recruit, it's a safe bet that the Tigers' coaching staff is also looking at other players from the same team. Given how tenaciously Missouri recruits the same areas in the Lone Star state year in and year out, the staff doesn't miss other top-caliber recruits from the same high school.
Case-in-point: Allen (TX) linebacker Thaddeus LaGrone. LaGrone is teammates, and close friends, with running back Jonathan Williams. Williams committed to Missouri in April. Shortly thereafter, LaGrone moved the Tigers up his list.
While Missouri has yet to offer, the Tigers have expressed plenty of interest in LaGrone. Williams informed his teammate that members of Missouri's coaching staff will visit Allen next week, with the intention of checking out LaGrone.
"Most teams want to see me first before they offer," LaGrone said. "They want to check on my size. I played at 175-pounds last year, but now I'm up to 190. They just want to confirm that."
Missouri isn't the only team showing interest in LaGrone. Baylor offered in April, and most teams from the Big 12, in addition to Ole Miss, Stanford, Oregon, TCU, Virginia and Iowa, are making trips to the school during the next two weeks.
LaGrone's position of the future also remains in flux at this point. For Allen, the 6'1", 190-pound athlete was a stand-out outside linebacker as a junior. He tallied 87 sacks, nine sacks and three interceptions in 2010. However, with his size, LaGrone said some schools are also looking at him as a possible safety.
LaGrone said he's played safety and cornerback before, and it would be easy to shift into the defensive backfield. That could make him more of a viable option for the Tigers, as they took three outside linebackers in the 2011 class and were looking to add inside linebackers in 2012. They should also add at least one safety.
Should Missouri offer, LaGrone said the Tigers would be one of his frontrunners.
"Me and Jonathan have always talked about playing together, so I would seriously consider them," LaGrone said. "But I need to make sure it fits me, with good coaches, good academics and a place I could get into a good routine at every day."
A decision for LaGrone could come around the first game of his senior season.