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March 6, 2012

An unlikely push





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Committing to Missouri was already on Harneet Gill's mind when the Tigers offered on Wednesday. The 6-foot-7, 260-pound offensive tackle from St. Charles, Mo., held off at the time, thinking that he wanted to let the recruiting process play out.

Less than a week later -- his mind swirling with Mizzou since then -- Gill got the push he needed. It came from an unlikely, and unique, source.

On Monday night, Gill called Northern Iowa assistant coach Dan Clark. The Panthers' staff was the first to show interest in Gill, and Gill wanted to update them on his first offer, and the interest he was receiving from Illinois and Kansas State, among others.

"I was thanking them for their interest in me," Gill said. "He was one of the first coaches in the recruiting process for me. He asked how things were going, and I told him I was offered by Mizzou."

Clark's response took Gill by surprise.

"Why are you calling me then, man," Clark said to Gill.

It was the push Gill needed. His next call was to his Missouri recruiting coaches, Josh Henson and Cornell Ford. By the end of that call, Gill became Missouri's sixth commitment for 2013.

While Clark provided the push, Gill's decision wasn't a spontaneous one. He had been thinking about the Tigers for the past five days.

"I was planning on committing," Gill said. "But I needed someone's words of advice. What am I waiting for? Am I waiting for USC to come offer? Would I pick them? I thought to myself, 'No, I would pick Mizzou over them.'"

For Gill, the decision to stay in-state was the sum of a handful of advantages.

"It's too good," Gill said. "I'll be playing for my home state. I'll be playing in the SEC. We have a class coming in that can help us win a national championship."

Now, less than a week after Gill's recruitment picked up steam, it comes to an end. He already cancelled a weekend trip to Illinois, and said his focus will turn to helping get the best talent for Missouri's 2013 class.

"I'm definitely going to try," Gill said. "I don't want to sit back for whoever gets on the team. I want to reach out and tell these guys that we need you, we need you to help us win a national championship."

Gill is Missouri's sixth known commitment in the 2013 class, and is the second offensive lineman to verbally pledge for the Tigers.

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