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June 14, 2011
A week after Durron Neal surprised many by committing to Oklahoma, Lee's Summit West offensive lineman Evan Boehm, long considered a heavy Sooners lean, did the same by committing to Missouri on Tuesday.
Boehm visited Columbia with his family on an unofficial visit, and although rumors swirled for over 24 hours that a commitment was a possibility, Boehm played coy with reporters.
"When it happens, it happens," Boehm told PowerMizzou.com Monday night. "I need to see how a few things go on this visit before I make a decision."
Looking back, however, the writing was on the wall for the past week. Last Tuesday, at Missouri's one-day camp at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., Boehm spent most of the workout talking with Missouri's coaching staff, wearing a black Missouri hat with his last name sewn into the right side.
"Watch them out here," Boehm told the Kansas City Star. "They have the best chemistry of any coaching staff I've seen. I can tell they are Missouri Tigers."
In reality, there was no need for answers on Tuesday. Boehm didn't have any questions. His mind had been made up for a few weeks.
"I've known since Memorial Day," Boehm said. "I kept it a secret. I told my immediate family then, and then my aunt and uncle, and my best friend, on Sunday. Those were the only people I told."
It was at that recruiting camp that Boehm realized he would make his decision public sooner rather than later.
Indeed, Missouri's coaching staff had no idea what was coming down I-70 East on Tuesday. Boehm said he saw the schedule for the visit when he arrived in Columbia in the morning, and saw a meeting with head coach Gary Pinkel scheduled at the end of the day, before he left at 5 p.m.
"I said to myself that I would tell them then," Boehm said.
Boehm met with Pinkel along with his father, and high school coach, Royce Boehm. The elder Boehm asked Pinkel, point-blank, if he would be Missouri's coach during Evan's career, should his son choose the Tigers.
"I just signed a seven-year extension," Pinkel said to the Boehms. "I'm not going anywhere."
At that point, Evan Boehm had heard enough.
"Coach Pinkel, I want to be a Missouri Tiger," Boehm said.
Boehm said Pinkel's reaction surprised him. The coach dropped his head into his hands for three or four seconds, then looked up.
"Really?," Pinkel said.
"I want to be a part of what you're building," Boehm said to Pinkel. "I want to be a part of a team that starts something, starts going to BCS bowls and bringing home titles."
Pinkel immediately jumped out of his seat to hug the newest commitment. From there, Pinkel and Boehm played a trick on other members Missouri's staff, making Andy Hill, Josh Henson and David Yost believe he hadn't committed. When they broke the gag, the three assistants had the same reaction as Pinkel.
Now, Boehm said the first order of business is to start recruiting for his future team. He said he plans to be in the ear of Park Hill defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins, and has already started recruiting Keller (TX) offensive tackle Simon Goines.
"We're going to build something special," Boehm said.
Boehm chose Missouri over offers from 15 other schools, including Auburn, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. He is the nation's third-ranked offensive guard, and 130th-ranked player overall by Rivals.com. He becomes Missouri's tenth-known commitment, and joins Jonathan Williams as Missouri's second four-star recruit.
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