By Jordan Burton
There are several Division One and D-2 prospects in Southwest Missouri. Below are some of the biggest names and most projectable recruits.
This is the second part of a two-part story.
Rayquion Weston, 5’11, 195, RB, 2019, Carl Junction (pictured)
A torn ACL will keep Weston from playing his senior year, thus robbing us of what would’ve been a sensational season. Weston has rushed for more than 3,000 yards and 50 touchdowns over the last two seasons, but he put on nearly 30lbs since last summer. It wasn’t bad weight either, Weston was still moving the way he needed to. But, from a projectivity standpoint, is Weston still a prospect? The simple answer is duh. The question is what level. He has a D-1 frame and game. He has D-1 interest. It’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next six months and if any FBS or FCS pull the trigger, or if Weston will be looking JUCO or prep school.
Zeke Sappington, 6’2, 190, QB, 2019, Carthage
The strides that he made as a quarterback last fall were a major reason why the Tigers made a Final Four run. He’s a high IQ kid but also has some serious arm talent. Sappington is a dual-threat quarterback – showing the ability to run for big gains or extend plays – but that’s not truly who he is. He’s great in the pocket, fitting balls into tight windows and understanding how to throw guys open already. He looked great during 7v7, expect a big season.
Tyler Smith, 6’5, 270, OL, 2019, Joplin
He’s the most-sure fire FBS guy on this list; he checks every box you want. A 6-foot-5, 270lb lineman that finishes blocks. He has great feet and is extremely mobile, but also seemingly has the ability to slide over to a guard spot too. He has more than a half dozen FCS offers right now. Expect that number to grow and for FBS programs to get involved. Strong academics also make him a great Ivy League candidate.
Jake Swope, 6’7, 260, OL, 2019, West Plains
College coaches – specifically D1s – will look at his physical profile and be intrigued. At 6-foot-7 and 260lbs, he looks like today’s offensive tackle prototype. Long arms and a mean streak make him even more attractive. He’s still raw, but he’s only getting better. SEMO, Western Illinois and SIU have already offered. His measurables could land him an FBS offer.
Terrell Kabala, 6’1, 195, ATH, 2020, Webb City
Kabala missed part of his sophomore season due to a torn ACL, but any time you’re talking about a kid on-track to be a 4-year starter at Webb City then you know you’re looking at a special player. As a freshman he was Webb City’s most productive receiver. As a sophomore he was a standout defensive back. He has high-level athleticism and ball skills. He’s also a versatile athlete and projects collegiately at multiple positions.
Brayden Lidgard, 5’10, 170, RB, 2020, West Plains
I joke that he reminds me of Christian McCaffrey… but if the shoe fits then lace that bad boy up. Lidgard is so similar to the trend you see happening in the NFL with running backs that obviously tote the rock with ease, but are also legitimate receiving threats out of the backfield; he’d be an all-state receiver if that was his primary position. He posted 2,793 yards from scrimmage with 39 touchdowns as a sophomore (2,425 rushing, 369 receiving). He reportedly runs a sub 4.5 40. If that’s legit, his recruitment will explode in the very near future.
Tyson Riley, 6’3, 200, ATH, 2019, Springfield Catholic
Riley is one of the best pure football players in the Ozarks. An impactful two-way player, he’s both a dual-threat quarterback and a downhill safety. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands and has a frame that allows him to be both elusive and powerful. But, he may translate better defensively where his raw instincts and athleticism can take over.
Wallace Squibb, 6’5, 260, OL/DL, 2019, Springfield Catholic
He’s already committed to Cornell, picking the Big Red over several other suitors. Squibb is a perfect FCS fit at defensive end because of his 6-foot-5, 260lb, mobile frame. Long arms make him even more difficult to block. For Catholic, he’s a 4-year starter on both sides of the ball. He’ll continue to command double teams as Catholic transitions to the Big 8.
Zach Westmoreland, 6’2, 210, WR, 2020, Joplin
At 6-foot-2, 210lbs, Westmoreland is a matchup nightmare. His sophomore season was a coming out party with him racking up 1,517 yards and 18 touchdowns. The scary part is now he and quarterback Blake Tash are comfortable. He’s raw in some ways, but his ball skills, catch radius and athleticism scream high level. He’s also going to play some defense this year and made several plays in the jamboree that were impressive. Expect FBS programs to get involved at some point.