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Eli Drinkwitz’s coaching staff is rounding into shape

Your Saturday Mizzou Links.

Appalachian State v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

There’s a lot going on in Mizzou-land, but for everything that’s happening it’s mostly happening behind the scenes. However, Eli Drinkwitz is getting closer to having his full staff in place.

Welcome Linebackers Coach D.J. Smith

Smith joins the previously announced Eric Link (who is coaching Special Teams) and Associate Head Coach Charlie Harbison as the new blood, and according to PowerMizzou’s Mitchell Forde, Brick Haley, David Gibbs, and Ryan Walters as the returners. Casey Woods hasn’t been officially announced, but Casey Woods will be the Tight Ends Coach according to Forde.

It’ll be interesting to see who coaches what, as Harbison traditionally worked with the defensive line, the same as Haley. Gibbs was the defensive backs coach, Walters was the defensive coordinator but hasn’t been named to that position for Drinkwitz, while he coached safeties prior. It certainly isn’t a given that all three (Gibbs, Haley, Walters) return to Missouri next year, but they all appear to be out on the road recruiting, and they’re still listed on the online roster.

It would make some sense for Drinkwitz to bring back Walters as Defensive Coordinator, since the defense was quite good last year. But Harbison’s history suggests he’s most comfortable coaching defensive backs, which Walters and Gibbs coaches this past year. If Haley coaches the defensive line, and Smith coaches linebackers, Walters would almost have to be the coordinator.

Either way, welcomes to Smith, Harbinson, and Link.

Speaking of Coordinators... Barry Odom found a job

New Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman announced it on Paul Finebaum:

The funny thing about twitter is it can be awfully smart-alecky, for good and bad. People will say things for likes, but their point will end up lacking a lot of substance. Basically, anyone poking fun at Arkansas for hiring Barry Odom to run their defense.

Let’s get one things straight here... Barry Odom is a terrific defensive coach. It’s been covered, ad nauseam, here and other outlets on just how good. As a defensive coordinator, Odom is elite. Sure he struggled to put it all together as a head coach, but the defense wasn’t a problem. Odom’s first defense at Missouri was rated 85th in SP+, then 61st, then 25th, and 18th this past year.

According to Steven Godfrey, coaches throughout College Football would jump at the chance to hire Odom. And him going to a team Missouri has to play every year isn’t a good thing (any potential grudges aside).

Now the reality is Arkansas is a full rebuild. While the job in Columbia is less so. There’s work to be done here, for sure. But I’m not sure what Arkansas does well, but defense wasn’t it. They were 87th in defense, so basically as bad as Missouri’s defense was Odoms first year. We’ll be able to see — up close and personal — just how quickly he can help get that thing turned around. I’m skeptical the Arkansas fans, and brass, will have the patience to let Pittman turn it all around. But I’d expect some steady growth from the defense in a hurry.

Yesterday at Rock M


  • It’s a big Recruiting weekend for the Football program as Coach Drink will host MOST of the current class. PowerMizzou has the full official list behind a paywall, but we can say based upon the tweets that Brady Cook, Jay Maclin, Harrison Mevis, Will Norris, Jaylon Carlies, and maybe the most important on the list, Elijah Young are all going to be on campus. With most of the class very likely to be in attendance.

Mizzou 2024 Commitment List

Pos Recruit Name Hometown Commitment Date Rivals Rate Rivals Rank 247 Rate 247 Rank Ht Wt
Pos Recruit Name Hometown Commitment Date Rivals Rate Rivals Rank 247 Rate 247 Rank Ht Wt
TE Whit Hafer Joplin, MO 2/25/2023 3-star 5.5 N/A 0.8614 6'7 230
TE-OL Ryan Jostes Washington, MO 3/11/2023 3-star 5.6 3-star 0.8619 6'6 280
QB Aidan Glover Colliervillle, TN 6/15/2023 3-star 5.7 3-star 0.8753 6'3 190
WR-S Jude James St. Charles, MO 6/30/2023 3-star N/A 3-star 0.8500 6'4 200
ATH Jackson Hancock Canton, GA 6/30/2023 N/A N/A N/A N/A 6'0 175
ATH Cam Dooley Valley, AL 7/1/2023 3-star 5.5 N/A 0.8567 6'4 195
DT Justin Bodford Ft. Lauderdale, FL 7/2/2023 3-star 5.6 N/A 0.8385 6'1 290
LB Nicholas Rodriguez Ft. Lauderdale, FL 7/3/2023 4-star 5.8 3-star 0.8850 6'1 190
WR James Madison II Ft. Lauderdale, FL 7/4/2023 4-star 5.8 4-star 0.8971 6'3 190
CB Cameron Keys Lynn Haven, FL 7/4/2023 3-star 5.6 4-star 0.9034 6'0 160
LB Brian Huff Jonesboro, AR 7/12/2023 4-star 5.8 4-star 0.8955 6'3 224
DE Williams Nwaneri Lee's Summit, MO 8/14/2023 5-star 6.1 5-star 0.9987 6'5 250
DE Jaylen Brown Madison, AL 8/22/2023 3-star 5.5 3-star 0.8600 6'6 230
5.7 0.8820
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