Missouri made a late addition to its 2016 recruiting class.
Three-star wideout Harry Ballard is officially a Tiger, the school announced Friday afternoon via Twitter.
— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) April 1, 2016
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound wide receiver caught 32 passes for 606 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior at McCluer North (Mo.), but never signed a national letter of intent until Friday. He had verbally committed to Mizzou a week after National Signing Day, according to 247Sports.com.
Many schools shied away from Ballard due to academic issues, but not Missouri. Ballard said that when other schools came knocking, he let them know who was recruiting him during the troubling times.
“All the big schools knew I had a grade problem and then backed off,” Ballard said, according to The St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Dave Matter. “So I sat back and watched to see who still recruited me knowing it would all pay off in the end.
“When my senior year came around, everybody started coming back slowly, like Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, all the big schools. I looked at them like, you didn’t believe in me, so why should I believe in you? Mizzou was recruiting me through thick and thin, so I made my commitment to Missouri.”
Ballard is rated as the No. 191 wide receiver in the country and the No. 14 player in the state, according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings. He turned down offers from Illinois and Iowa State.