Scholarship offers from national title contenders have a way of grabbing the attention of high-level football prospects. So while four-star wide receiver Alex Ofodile, a 2015 prospect, shares a city with the Missouri campus and grew up a fan of the hometown team, Florida State has his ear.
Ignoring an 11-0 record is difficult, and it's not as though Ofodile, a 6-foot-3 junior, will even bother trying. The situation has him excited. The situation has impacted his recruitment.
"It's big," Ofodile said of his recent offer from the Seminoles. "It was an off-guard thing. I was real excited, though. They game to our game against Hazelwood Central to watch Hazelwood Central's tackle [2014 four-star Roderick Johnson], and I ended up having a pretty good game. So they liked me. They offered me after that. My dad's friend works on their coaching staff. They played in the NFL together."
Ofodile speculates that Oklahoma State could be the next school show up with a scholarship offer. Iowa recently made things official. And, much like his link to Florida State, there's a pre-existing tie in place with the Hawkeyes as well.
"Our quarterbacks coach was at Colorado with a coach at Iowa right now," Ofodile said. "Our quarterbacks coach showed my film to him. I think that's where that offer came from pretty much."
These types of connections aren't uncommon for the Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge junior. His father played for Missouri in the late 1990s and has coached multiple BCS-level players since. The fact that he had an eight-year professional playing career didn't hurt things on the networking front either.
The result is that Ofodile is as connected in the football community as a high school junior can be. Connection or not, though, the Rivlas250 prospect doesn't try to deny the draw of his father's alma mater. The hometown school will be in his recruitment until the end. That much is certain to even casual onlookers.
Naming the Tigers as the team to beat at such an early juncture, however, would be leap.
"It's too early to tell if Mizzou is out in front," Ofodile said. "I'm definitely a big Mizzou fan. I grew up that way, but I just want to keep looking around and see what I like and where I fit in the best."
One of the top players in Missouri, Ofodile certainly hasn't received his final scholarship offer. He'll wait for other schools to trickle in before naming a favorite or making a cut of any sort. It's not too early to start forming opinions, though. So once his junior season comes to a close, he'll begin to inspect the programs that have already made things official.
"I'm definitely going to take some visits," he says. "I don't know when or which schools yet. We have the state championship coming up. After that, I'll sit down and plan some visits."