In a matter of three hours on Wednesday, Missouri managed to lose a safety and gain a safety.
Wednesday evening, three-star safety Will Hines (Waco, Texas) said he has decommitted from Missouri and will explore other options. Hines, 6 foot and 180 pounds, has an offer from Arkansas high on his radar but also has offers from Baylor, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Notre Dame and a host of other schools.
Hines said the departure of Missouri safeties coach Barry Odom – who is now the defensive coordinator at Memphis – and the Tigers’ move from the Big 12 to the SEC were factors in his decommitment.
“Coach Odom was one of the main reasons I committed to Mizzou so early without taking a visit,” Hines said. “The other reason why I chose Mizzou over Arkansas was because they were in the Big 12, and I would have more games in Texas. But now that they’ve switched, I’m considering Arkansas more.”
Later in the night, two-star safety Levi Copelin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) decommitted from Houston and accepted a scholarship offer from Missouri. Copelin, 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, said the opportunity to play in the SEC played a major role in him choosing the Tigers.
Copelin announced his decision via Twitter, as he posted, ““Tiger born and Tiger bred. I'll be a tiger 'till I'm dead! #SECbound.” He confirmed the tweet via text message to ESPN.com.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking to change so late in the year, but I’m going with my heart and chasing my dreams,” Copelin said. “I want to make the most of every opportunity. I never thought I would have an opportunity like this. It’s a real blessing, and I can’t wait to play on such a big stage.”