Monday, November 4, 2013
Scouts' Take: Mizzou regains Bauer
By Craig Haubert
ESPN 300 offensive tackle Andy Bauer (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) kicked off Missouri's current class in April 2012. After a stint as an Ole Miss pledge, he's back with the Tigers. See below for how our scouts believe Bauer will fit into coach Gary Pinkel's plans.
What he brings: Bauer brings good size and a nasty playing attitude to the offensive trenches. In the run game, he can be a physical presence with the ability to quickly get into a defender, deliver a pop and, with good hand placement and leg drive, generate push. The big man can be effective at attacking the second level. As a pass-protector, he can set quickly with an effective kick step and is capable of taking away the edge.
How he fits: From an on-field perspective, the big, physical four-star lineman gives Mizzou a talented offensive tackle prospect to develop. The 8-1 Tigers have one of the top rushing offenses in college football and Bauer has the tools to be a strong run blocker and can help Missouri maintain a productive ground attack. He can also match up well in pass protection with some of the premier pass rushers that he will see competing against in the SEC. From an off-the-field perspective, he is a great pickup as well because he is state’s top prospect and keeping players the caliber of Bauer at home will be crucial to the Tigers' long-term success in the SEC. With the one-time Missouri verbal having switched to Ole Miss for a period, it looked as if the top five players in the state, three of which are offensive lineman, could leave. Bringing Bauer back into the mix is big and could be a key step in keeping one or two more of those other top in-state prospects close to home.
Prediction for performance: Bauer is nursing a hip injury that has forced him to miss his senior season. While signs look good for a recovery that could potentially have him on the field this January for the Under Armour All-America game, the loss of a season could still slow development. The Tigers have a senior at left tackle in Justin Britt and a junior at right tackle in Mitch Morse, so adding Bauer to the mix is significant. However, contributing as a freshman, as former top in-state offensive lineman Evan Boehm did, might be a little tougher. In the long run, for a team with a pair of upperclassmen at the tackle spots, a healthy Bauer gives them a player with the size and tools to develop into a multi-year starter.
How the class is shaping up: Mizzou has a built a deep, solid class that is last in the SEC, but nationally not far outside the top 40. Wide receiver Lawrence Lee (Pensacola, Fla./West Florida Tech) was the Tigers' top-rated prospect and lone four-star commit, but Bauer gives them their second verbal from a four-star and first from an ESPN 300 prospect. This class also features a handful of offensive line prospects with some upside, but Bauer is now their most significant pick-up at the position.