COLUMBIA, Mo. • Stepfawn Hughes, Missouri’s latest commitment for the 2014 recruiting class, won’t be the first MU receiver from Dunbar High School in Fort Worth, Texas. His older half-brother Darius White wasn't the first either.
The first — and, to this point, the best — was Victor Bailey, who transferred to Mizzou from Texas-El Paso and became one of the most prolific receivers in team history. Bailey, a second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1993, caught 128 passes for 2,144 yards from 1990-92 at Missouri, which ranks sixth on the school’s career receiving yardage list.
Next in line is Hughes, who committed to Mizzou in recent days, Dunbar coach Todd Lawson said. The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder plays slot receiver, tailback, cornerback and returns kicks and punts for Lawson’s team but projects as a slot receiver for the Tigers.
“I always say he’s just a football player because he plays everywhere and excels wherever you put him,” Lawson said. “He’s got very good hands. He accelerates out of his cuts. Once he gets the ball, it’s hard to bring him down. He’s got good balance, good footwork and makes people miss.”
Hughes, ranked the No. 66 athlete in the 2014 class and No. 98 prospect in Texas by ESPN.com, also holds offers Arizona State, Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Nebraska and TCU.
He visited Columbia for the Black and Gold scrimmage in April, Lawson said. “He got a chance to see the campus, got a chance to see the coaches work and got to meet a lot of the players. There’s a lot of players from the DFW area on that team.”
As for Bailey, the former All-Big Eight receiver for the Tigers, he recently moved to Austin, Texas, where his wife, Tonja Buford-Bailey, has joined the Texas Longhorns track and field coaching staff. They had spent the last 10 years in Champaign, Ill., where Buford-Bailey was the women’s head track coach at Illinois. Bailey, 43, was instrumental in White’s decision to transfer to Missouri after a disappointing two years at Texas, Lawson said. “He came in and talked to Darius about college life and things of that nature,” Lawson said.
After sitting out the 2012 season per NCAA transfer rules, White is working with the second unit in camp and should be part of the mix at outside receiver.
“It was just a matter of time,” Lawson said of White, who was a Parade All-American at Dunbar and one of the country’s elite receiver recruits. “That was good that he had to redshirt. That made him do some soul-searching, think about things, think about how he would have gone about things differently. It’s a growing process. He’ll be fine. He’ll be hungry to play, so that’ll be good. I can’t wait to see him on the field.”
Hughes is Missouri's 18th commitment for the 2014 class.
Paul Adams, OL, Nashville, Tenn. (Christ Presbyterian Academy)
Sam Bailey, OL, Lamar, Mo. (Lamar)
Kendall Blanton, TE, Blue Springs, Mo. (Blue Springs South)
Logan Cheadle, DB, Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Lee’s Summit West)
Kenya Dennis, DB, Leland, Miss. (Hinds Community College)
Michael Fairchild, OL, Overland Park, Kan. (Blue Valley West)
Darnell Green-Beckham, WR, Springfield, Mo (Hillcrest)
Zach Hudson, OL, Tampa, Fla. (Sickles)
Stepfawn Hughes, WR, Fort Worth, Texas (Dunbar)
Grant Jones, LB/TE, Columbia, Mo. (Hickman)
Lawrence Lee, WR, Pensacola, Fla. (West Florida Tech)
Rocel McWilliams, DL, Pensacola, Fla. (West Florida Tech)
Kevin Pendleton, OL, Lee's Summit, Mo. (Lee’s Summit West)
Thomas Richard, WR, Nashville, Tenn. (Christ Presbyterian Academy)
Finis Stribling, CB, Thompson's Station, Tenn. (Independence)
Greg Taylor, S, East St. Louis, Ill. (East St. Louis)
Roderick Winters, LB, Arlington, Texas (Bowie)
Marvin Zanders, QB, Jacksonville, Fla. (Raines)