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Missouri: Top 25 Student-Athletes to Watch in 2015-16

ESPN has Missouri back in the Top 25 in football, and the top four student-athletes in the state are in fact Mizzou players getting ready for another SEC season. The state also has a lot of high school talent in big-time volleyball and basketball prospects.

We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning athletes in the state and emailed sports writers and other experts in the state to help rank the 25 state players to watch on a list we will update here.

Maty Mauk takes his chances, but with Evan Boehm clearing out defenders and the option of getting the ball to Russell Hansbrough the Tigers can certainly challenge in the SEC East. Kentrell Brothers is the big guy on defense. Here are the top student-athletes to watch, followed by notes on the top high school prospects:

  1. Maty Mauk, Missouri Tigers, Foot, QB
  2. Evan Boehm, Missouri Tigers, Foot, OLine
  3. Russell Hansbrough, Missouri Tigers, Foot, RB
  4. Kentrell Brothers, Missouri Tigers, Foot, LB
  5. Antonius Cleveland, Southeast Missouri St., Basket, SF
  6. Jayson Tatum, St. Louis, Chaminade High School, Basketball, F
  7. Lexi (Alexis) Hart, Volleyball, Truman High School, OH/MB
  8. Chris Kendrix, Missouri St., Basket, SF
  9. Josh Augusta, Missouri Tigers, Football, DT
  10. Davell Roby, St. Louis, Basket, PG
  11. Kaitlyn Clark, Missouri, Soccer, Midfielder
  12. LaQuisha Jackson, Missouri, Track/Field, 100m Dash
  13. Noah Knight, UMKC, Basket, SG
  14. Alicia Starr, Volleyball, Blue Springs High School, OH/S
  15. Martez Harrison, UMKC, Basket, PG
  16. Tanner Houck, Missouri, Baseball, SP
  17. Trey Harris, Missouri, Baseball, OF
  18. Tyler Cook, St. Louis, Chaminade, Basketball, F
  19. Deshon Taylor, UMKC, Basket, SG
  20. Xavier Sneed, Florissant, Hazelwood Central, Basketball, F
  21. Skylar Thompson, Fort Osage HS, Football, QB
  22. K.J. Robinson, Blue Springs South High School, Basketball, PG
  23. Michael Scherer, Missouri, Football, LB
  24. Harold Brantley, Missouri, Football, DLine
  25. Taylor Chapell, Missouri, Football, OLine

High school basketball stars include:

As you can see from this footage, St. Louis has produced another great basketball player in Jayson Tatum, who has the spin move, cross over and spot up long-range shot to be a star as he finishes at Chaminade High School.

K.J. Robinson, 6-0, Sr., (point guard), Blue Springs South High School (Blue Springs, Mo.) – Class 6 all-state, getting several Division I looks and offers (not committed yet). Helped team win first state championship in biggest class with Kevin Puryear (now at Missouri). Junior season stats: Averaged 16.2 points, 3.2 assists, 1.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals; shot 44.4 percent from field, 80.9 percent from FT line, 35.3 percent from 3-point range.

Two top-notch volleyball players will be back in the high school ranks:

Lexi (Alexis) Hart, 6-0, Sr., OH/MB, Truman High School (Independence, Mo.) – Evelyn Gates Award winner as the top volleyball player in the KC metro area (against some really tough competition and Division I athletes; first junior to ever win that award); Class 4 all-state first team; recruited by most of the top volleyball programs in the nation and verbally committed to Minnesota. Junior VB stats: 424 kills, .356 hitting percentage, 35 aces, 87.9 percent serving, 28 blocks (23 solo), 98 digs. In track and field, state champion long jumper as sophomore, 4th this season with a better jump (18 feet, 5 1/4 inches); all-state in triple jump as junior (3rd place, 37-5 1/2) and sophomore (6th, 39-3), also qualified for state in the 200 meters (she had only run it since midseason) as junior but did not qualify for the state finals with the 10th best time in the prelims. Also a starter and Examiner All-Area performer and starter on the Truman basketball squad, which won the district championship.

Alicia Starr, 6-0, sr., OH/S, Blue Springs High School (Blue Springs) – Also a big Division I recruit (verbally committed to South Carolina). All-state as a sophomore and junior. (Probably would have been an Evelyn Gates Award finalist if the team around her was better). Junior VB stats: 477 kills (5.9/set), .391 hitting percentage, 45.3 kill percentage, 26 aces, 96 percent serving, 256 assists, 49 blocks, 240 digs. In track and field, 2nd in Class 5 state in the triple jump (37 feet, 10 1/2 inches); all-state in high jump (7th, 5-2) as a sophomore (narrowly missed qualifying in that event this year); also narrowly missed state in long jump).

On the football front:

Skylar Thompson, 6-3, 200, Sr., QB, Fort Osage High School (Independence, Mo.) – Verbal commitment to Kansas State, participated in Nike Elite 11 camps this summer, also had several other Division I offers. Simone Award finalist (top player in KC metro area) as junior; Class 5 all-state first team. Team undefeated in regular season last two seasons (lost in semis and quarterfinals) with him as the starter. Stats from jr. season:158-244, 2,385 yards, 24 TDs, 6 Int., 118.8 QB rating; 161 carries, 461 yards, 9 TDs rushing.

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