O’Fallon High junior Tucker McCann, one of the nation’s most sought-after kicking prospects, on Monday gave a verbal commitment to the University of Missouri.
McCann had a state-record 60-yard field goal last season among his 11 field goals and also booted 20 extra-points. He had full-scholarship offers from several school, most notably Alabama and Missouri. McCann also averaged 37 yards as a punter.
The 60-yard field goal came on Oct. 17, 2014 against Belleville East.
McCann had full scholarship offers from Missouri, Alabama and Illinois, with the first one coming from Mizzou on Feb. 14. The final two on his list were Mizzou and Alabama, with Mizzou getting the nod after McCann’s visit to the school last week.
“That really sealed the deal for me and my family,” McCann said. “It was just how you get the sense of a real family atmosphere that they have there. They mean it when they say they’re a family there. Mizzou’s obviously already a good program and they’re getting some big commitments from (East St. Louis All-American defensive lineman) Terry Beckner and some other big recruits. I thought it would be perfect for me.”
McCann (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) is the second Southwestern Conference kicker in two years to receive a full scholarship to college, a rarity among kickers and punters. The other was recent Belleville West graduate Austin Seibert, an All-American who received a full scholarship to Oklahoma.
McCann was rated as the No. 2 kicking prospect nationally in the Class of 2016 by Kohl’s Kicking.
McCann said he also received positive comments from the Missouri coaching staff that with senior kicker Andrew Baggett leaving the Tigers after next season, McCann would have a really good chance of coming in as the starter in 2016.
“They told me that they have a lot of confidence in me to come in and start as freshman,” McCann said. “I feel like now I can just relax because I’m definitely committed to Mizzou. That’s my school now and I’m part of the family.”
McCann was impressed with nearly everything about Alabama, too, but sensed a better connection with Missouri.
“Obivously it’s a great school with great facilities and great everything,” McCann said of Alabama, “But I just really feel at home at Mizzou compared to ‘Bama. I seemed to connect more with the Mizzou coaches and other Mizzou players.
“They had their confidence in me from the beginning with it being my first offer, so it means a lot to me.”
McCann said he talked to Seibert, who also was recruited by Mizzou.
“We’ve been texting a little bit recently and he just said congrats and stuff,” McCann said. “Hopefully we’ll meet on the field some time.”
Earlier this year, O’Fallon junior running back Kentrail Moran committed to Illinois.