Muskegon Heights (Mich.) defensive end Evan Winston originally planned to have a press conference to announce his college selection, but on Saturday the 6-4, 255-pound prospect decided to forego a formal announcement and declare that he would be playing his college ball in the Big 12 Conference for the Missouri Tigers.
"I let them know on my last unofficial visit there," Winston said. "We were planning on doing a press conference deal, so the only people who knew were my family. When we decided not to do [a press conference], I decided to make it public today."
Winston took an unofficial visit to Missouri last month, and received an offer from the Tigers shortly after returning home. He returned to the school last week to ensure that was the place for him.
"I went down with my mom and my two aunts and just fell in love with the school," Winston said. "It was the coaching staff, my position coach, the coaching stability and I felt most comfortable with Coach [Craig] Kuligowski, my defensive line coach."
Besides Missouri, Winston held offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Iowa, Houston, Marshall and Syracuse. Now that he has his decision made, though, Winston is excited about his future.
"I never would have imagined this at all," he said. "I really couldn't tell you where I would have been two years ago. I always had big time dreams, but I just thank God for the opportunity. I have truly been blessed.
"It is more than satisfying. To end up in the Big 12 at Missouri - big time football - that is a big accomplishment for me. I'm looking forward to taking the next step and opening a new chapter of my life."
Winston expects to head to Columbia next summer to play on the defensive line, from where he recorded 93 tackles and 11 sacks as a junior.
"Because I am such a lean 255-260, they are thinking I will come in and redshirt," Winston said. "That next year I will be an athletic three-technique."