Mizzou Football Recruiting: Just how well is Drinkwitz doing?




 

It's no secret that Eli Drinkwitz and the Missouri Tigers are setting new standards when it comes to Mizzou football recruiting. There's been a lot of buzz around the program lately as commitments have picked up and all of a sudden, we're in the month of July and Missouri's 2022 class currently ranks No. 16 nationally and 6th in the SEC according to 247sports.com. That's absurd for a program like Missouri.


That's not to knock on Mizzou, though. We've just quite literally never seen this level of recruiting at Mizzou before. It's okay to be honest about that. Drinkwitz just signed the highest-rated class in school history several months ago and he's already on pace to do it again.





To put it into perspective, Barry Odom signed 7 four-star recruits over his tenure which lasted four years according to 247sports.com database. Assuming Drinkwitz signs all four-star recruits he currently has committed, that will give him 9 four-star recruits in just his first two classes. For the record, that was with me crediting the 2020 class to Barry Odom even though Drinkwitz was technically already the coach when that class was signed. That's pretty impressive. That's the level Mizzou needs to recruit at to compete with the best in the SEC.


Not all of those four-star players are going to pan out, but more times than not a four-star recruit is going to be better than a three-star. Stars do matter in that aspect despite what we've told ourselves for years. Speaking of three-star recruits, remember the days when we would get excited about "high three-stars"? Those pick ups almost seem routine now and no offense to those recruits or the last regime, but Missouri's 6th or 7th best commit right now would typically be the "underrated crown jewel" of a Mizzou recruiting class. Things are changing.


Keep in mind that Drinkwitz went 5-5 with what was essentially Barry Odom's team and an all-SEC schedule mixed with Covid difficulties. Now, if Drinkwitz can stack three or four more of those top-25 range classes imagine the damage Mizzou could do? It's exciting to think about.


What's really impressive though, is not only the recruits Drinkwitz is landing, t's the optics of it. For example, at one point it seemed like C.J. Stokes and Emeka Megwa were Mizzou's top running back targets. When Stokes committed to Michigan and Megwa seemed to be out of reach, Drinkwitz brought Texas running back prospect Tavorus Jones on a visit only to have him commit the following week. Just casually landing the top running back out of Texas. No big deal,





How about Deshawn Woods? The 6'4", 270 lbs prospect is the No.1 player in the state of Nebraska and Drinkwitz just landed him as well. Heck, even the Nebraska beat writers can't fathom the fact a player from their backyard would leave for Missouri (which is actually pretty funny considering Nebraska clearly hasn't been in a position to talk down on Mizzou in years).


Drinkwitz is recruiting the best players out of regions no one ever thought Mizzou could pull players from. Even last cycle Drinkwitz was able to pull Indiana prospects Daylan Carnell and Kyran Montgomery who were four-star prospects in the middle of BIG10 country. Ennis Rakestraw was an exception to the rule whenever he committed, too. Even though Odom's regime built the initial relationship with him, Drinkwitz was able to close the deal on a player from Texas that had committable offers from Texas and Alabama.


Don't forget the transfer market either where Drinkwitz has been able to effectively fill holes and land major contributors. Mizzou's secondary was starting to look a little thin a couple months ago after the transfers of Jadarrius Perkins and Jarvis Ware and then Drinkwitz was able to turn around and land Tulsa transfers Allie Green and Akayleb Evans who both project as NFL prospects, making the secondary a strength instead of a weakness. Talk about attacking a need.





Of course, not all of the credit goes to Drinkwitz. You also have to hand it to his assistant staff which consists of a lot of guys with NFL experience and successful recruiting backgrounds. At the same time, though, Drinkwitz also deserves credit for having those relationships and hitting on his staff hires.


As fans, we all always thought Mizzou was a sleeping giant of a football program. They have a fanbase that will show up when the team does well, they have the top-notch facilities to attract recruits, they have the tradition and history of being a good football program. They've just needed the right coach to put it all together.





Drinkwitz seems to be that coach when it comes to recruiting. It seems like a recurring headline. Everytime Drinkwitz gets a big recruiting we seem to say that, but he's had enough of them that it feels real this time around. People are starting to take notice across the nation of what Mizzou is doing in recruiting and it's time for us to acknowledge as fans that we finally have the guy we've been looking for. It's quite literally a new Zou.

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