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September 3, 2012

Columbia born and raised



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A.J. Logan had a simple dream.

The 6-foot-2, 310-pound defensive tackle from Rock Bridge High School always wanted to stay home and play for the University of Missouri. For a time, it wasn't apparent if Missouri's staff would extend that elusive offer -- he'd camped with Missouri before, he'd been on unofficial visits, he knew the staff, but at the start of his senior season it didn't look like an offer would come.

Logan had a simple goal. Instead of getting down or getting upset, he focused on one thing:

"I just figured that if I keep working, I'd give them no choice but to offer," Logan said.

The start to his senior season has been just short of spectacular. In two games, Logan has compiled over 20 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks. His goal began to pay off. After the first game of the year -- against DeSmet and 2014 star Andy Bauer -- Missouri's staff took notice. He was invited for another unofficial visit, and came on Saturday to see Missouri's season opener against Southeastern Louisiana.

Before the game, after lunch, the Tiger Walk and a video presentation, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel pulled Logan aside.

"He told me they were giving me a scholarship," Logan said. "I committed on the spot."

The quick response took Pinkel by surprise, according to Logan.

"Really?" Pinkel said to Logan.

"Really, I'm committing," Logan responded.

Logan said he always knew he would commit to Missouri as soon as the staff offered.

"It's just home," Logan said. "I went to a few practices this year and I watched the defensive line and Coach Kuligowski. He seems like a pretty cool coach and I liked how he coached the line.

"But, it's home. I'm from Columbia, born and raised, and I want to play here. Plus, the SEC doesn't hurt things at all."

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