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May 10, 2012

A healthy decision





For Jake Campos, the decision to commit to Missouri was a weighty one.

Campos, a four-star offensive lineman from West Des Moines, Iowa, currently weighs around 250 pounds with a 6-foot-7 frame. Campos, the nation's 204th-ranked player, is well aware he'll need to add between forty and fifty pounds to play tackle in college.

During college visits this spring, Campos made sure to focus on the "How?" of that equation. How would these schools add weight to his long, lean frame?

"We talked about nutrion programs everywhere we went," Campos said. "Every school had a nutrionist on staff to help choose meals for the players."

But, Missouri's nutrition program set the Tigers apart. Campos said Missouri employees a "dietician coach," who actively works with the strength and conditioning program to help athletes remain healthy as they gain, or lose, weight.

Campos cited the usual positives that helped lead to his decision -- his comfort level with the coaching staff and players, for instance. But, it was the nutrition program that pushed the Tigers over the top.

"I need to put on weight, and I know they're going to do it the right way," Campos said. "They're not just going to slap fat on me. It's going to be the right kind of weight."

Because of those positives for Missouri, Campos recently realized that the Tigers were his leader.

"I've been comparing everything to Missouri," Campos said. "I thought, in the back of my head, that I wanted to go there."

As Missouri continued to gain the verbal commitments of 2013 recruits -- Campos makes 12 -- the four-star tackle followed along. Stilwell (KS) offensive tackle Clay Rhodes committed to Missouri on May 2, giving the Tigers three offensive line recruits in this class.

At that time, Campos said he realized his opportunity may close, so he talked to Missouri co-offensive line coach Josh Henson.

"He said they were going to take four linemen this year," Campos said. "There would be no guarantees there would be a spot if one of the four guys they were looking at did commit. He didn't pressure me, and he said there could still be a chance even if one of those guys committed before me.

"I just realized it's where I wanted to go."

Campos actually committed to Henson on Tuesday night around 10 PM. On Wednesday, he talked to Missouri coach Gary Pinkel to make it official, with the intention of announcing it to the public after his track meet on Thursday. However, coaches from Iowa stopped by on Wednesday, and Campos said he didn't want to keep his commitment from them. He also had a standing phone appointment with Iowa State's coaching staff on Wednesday, so he also told them about his decision.

The word leaked out on Thursday morning. Instead of announcing after his track meet, Campos fielded calls from reporters prior to the event's start.

Now, Campos said he's looking forward to taking a laid-back approach to the recruiting trail. After a lot of stress over the past few months, Campos said he won't pressure any other uncommitted recruits.

"Everyone told me I needed to go to Iowa because they put tackles in the NFL," Campos said. "Or go to Iowa State, because of Coach (Paul) Rhoads.

"I think you need to go where you feel most comfortable. For me, that was Missouri."

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