I’ll be taking a look at recruiting classes next week so let’s set the table for that discussion by looking at the roster as it is currently manned.
I’ve removed those that have hit the transfer portal but those who are opting out for this season - due to COVID or other health issues - are still listed, albeit in parenthesis. The common logic is that opt-outs probably won’t be returning to the team but we’ll keep them on the roster until they are officially gone.
We start, of course, with the offense:
Shawn Robinson - Redshirt Junior
Connor Bazelak - Redshirt Freshman
Brady Cook - Freshman
Tyler Macon - incoming
Remember, thanks to NCAA idiotic short-sightedness, the class that every player is currently listed as in 2020 will be the same class they are listed as in 2021.
You can wonder if Robinson leaves after this year but that’s not really yours, or my, call to make or even project. Missouri currently has three scholarship quarterbacks and will probably add Tyler Macon as the fourth in December. No need to add any more at this time.
Dawson Downing - Redshirt Senior
Larry Rountree III - Senior
Tyler Badie - Junior
Simi Bakare - Junior
Elijah Young - Freshman
Taj Butts & B.J. Harris - incoming
Missouri will probably lose Downing and Rountree and Badie might enter the NFL Draft early but that’s just my projection, I haven’t heard any inclination that he would do so. That means three possibly leaving with two - Butts and Harris - probably singing in this class. That means either as many as seven backs or as few as four (barring any other transfers) for 2021 but, for this exercise, I’m assuming Downing and Rountree are gone while Badie comes back. Assuming that does come through there won’t be any need for more recruits in this class.
Keke Chism - Redshirt Senior
Damon Hazelton, Jr. - Redshirt Senior
Micah Wilson - Redshirt Senior
Barrett Banister - Redshirt Junior
Dominic Gicinto - Junior
Jalen Knox - Junior
Tauskie Dove - Redshirt Sophomore
Kris Abrams-Draine - Freshman
Javian Hester - Freshman
Jay Maclin - Freshman
No incoming receiver recruits for the 2021 class! Yikes!
Chism and Hazelton came here to show their talent on the SEC level and leverage that into an NFL job so we’ll see what grades they get back. At this point we haven’t seen anything from Chism; if that means he stays or goes, your guess is as good as mine. Hazelton has shown some stuff but nothing game breaking, maybe he comes back as well. Regardless, Missouri needs some pass catchers to come in for the 2021 signing class; whether that’s late-blooming high schoolers, JUCOs, or transfers, I’d expect Drinktwitz to take at least two this year to keep some semblance of roster balance and talent infusion.
Also worth remembering: Chance Luper is currently a walk-on and will probably be getting a scholarship at some point.
Brendan Scales - Redshirt Senior [health opt-out]
Logan Christopherson - Redshirt Junior
Daniel Parker, Jr. - Junior
Messiah Swinson - Redshirt Sophomore
Niko Hea - Sophomore
Ryan Hoerstkamp and Gavin McKay - incoming
Scales has never been healthy enough to see the field and is missing all of 2020 for injury-related reasons. DPJ might be leaving depending on NFL feedback. That could be two out/two in with highly coveted Ryan Hoerstkamp and Gavin McKay slated to join the fold in 2021. That’s a lot of tight ends with scholarships, by the way; this is a position that could see some attrition via transfer portal.
Michael Maietti - Redshirt Senior
Angel Matute - Senior [health opt-out]
Larry Borom - Redshirt Junior
Case Cook - Redshirt Junior
Hyrin White - Redshirt Junior
Zeke Powell - Junior
Xavier Delgado - Redshirt Sophomore
Javon Foster - Redshirt Sophomore
Bobby Lawrence - Redshirt Sophomore
Mike Ruth - Redshirt Sophomore
Thalen Robinson - Sophomore [COVID opt-out]
Jack Buford - Redshirt Freshman
Luke Griffin - Redshirt Freshman
Drake Heismeyer - Freshman
Dylan Spencer - Freshman
Mitchell Walters - Freshman
Connor Tollison - incoming
So...Angel Matute and Thalen Robinson are no longer listed on Mizzou’s official roster. I’d assume that because they opted out - Matute for injury, Robinson for COVID - but Brendan Scales is still listed on the roster and he was an injury opt-out as well so...I dunno.
Maietti is the only one slated to leave and, technically, he doesn’t have to. He’s played well and maybe that translates to the NFL but this is a large group and one or zero leave is a good thing considering they only have one recruit coming in.
The o-line rotation has been very tight, even with injuries, so there might be a chance most of these guys aren’t ready for the SEC yet. If one year of full, normal program progression can get them there that’s fine but I’m sure the coaching staff would be willing to entertain a transfer or JUCO to bring on and add depth along with incoming freshman Connor Tollison. There’s also a few offers to uncommitted high school linemen that could be deciding soon-ish so it seems like the staff isn’t settling on just one o-lineman recruit for this class.
Tre Williams - Redshirt Senior
Sci Martin, Jr. - Senior
Chris Turner - Senior
Jatorian Hansford - Junior
Z’Core Brooks - Redshirt Freshman
Johnny Walker, Jr. - Freshman
Travion Ford, Jonathan Jones, Kyran Montgomery, Shemar Pearl, Daniel Robledo - incoming
Three possible departures, five incoming recruits, two of which are JUCOs. We’ve discussed the lack of talent in this group enough over the past year and a half and Drinkwitz’ recruiting machine has attacked this position fervently. Even though they have five commits at end they could possible take two more as they’re looking at two high schoolers and a JUCO prospect. In addition, they could also possibly have Williams, Martin, and Turner return...but it would be best for long-term team development if they didn’t.
Chris Daniels - Redshirt Senior [COVID opt-out]
Markell Utsey - Redshirt Senior
Akial Byers - Senior
Kobie Whiteside - Senior
Ben Key - Junior
Isaiah McGuire - Sophomore
Darius Robinson - Sophomore
Mekhi Wingo - incoming
Four potential departures, one incoming. McGuire has done well while being pressed into service but we haven’t seen much of Robinson and I’m pretty sure Key hasn’t even seen the field at all. It’ll be interesting if any of the seniors come back; Whiteside had All-SEC preseason accolades but has missed a ton of time due to injury and might want to prove something in another year.
Jamal Brooks - Senior
Nick Bolton - Junior
Cameron Wilkins - Junior
Chad Bailey - Redshirt Sophomore
Gerald Nathan, Jr. - Redshirt Sophomore
Devin Nicholson - Sophomore
Jamie Pettway - Redshirt Freshman
Will Norris - Freshman
Zachary Lovett and Dameon Wilson - incoming
Eight guys are currently in line to man two linebacker spots and that’s after some transfer portal losses. Nick Bolton should scurry away to the NFL after this year and get that money but Jamal Brooks is the only other potential loss. Two high schoolers are coming in to offset any losses but the Tigers still have too many linebackers, in my opinion. We’ll see if they keep this amount of linebackers in order to transfer to a 4-3 in the future or transition some of the lighter, faster guys to safety.
Adam Sparks - Senior
Jarvis Ware - Junior
Chris Mills - Redshirt Sophomore
Chris Shearin - Sophomore [COVID opt-out]
Ishmael Burdine - Redshirt Freshman
Ennis Rakestraw, Jr. - Freshman
Daylan Carnell, Darius Jackson, Zxaequan Reeves, Davion Sistrunk - incoming
One potential departure, four incoming high school recruits. The Tiger defensive bros have a type when recruiting corners: over six feet tall, over 180 pounds, and all four guys fit the bill. Unless one of these four goes elsewhere they won’t be signing anymore for this position but some of these guys might also be able to play safety once they get on campus.
Joshuah Bledsoe - Senior
Tyree Gillespie - Senior
Stacy Brown - Sophomore
Aidan Harrison - Sophomore
Martez Manuel - Sophomore
Jalani Williams - Redshirt Freshman
Jaylon Carlies - Freshman
Tyler Jones - Freshman
Tyler Hibbler - incoming
Two possible departures in Bledsoe and Gillespie but a whole ton of returning youth, including Tyler Hibbler coming in from Trinity Catholic. Like I said in the corners, some of those guys might translate to safety once Walters, Gibbs, and Harbison get a better look at them so I don’t anticipate anymore safeties being taken in this class.
Grant McKinniss - Redshirt Senior
Harrison Mevis - Freshman
McKinniss could come back but I wouldn’t count on it. Our beautiful, bountiful Thiccer is here for another four year unless he leaves for the NFL after his second Heisman. There are a few ranked punters that the Tigers could take to replace McKinnis but it’s not a position of need at this point.
If we assume that those who are in the transfer portal are truly gone and those who opted-out are going to come back then Missouri currently has 77 scholarship players, well below the 81 limit imposed by NCAA penalties. They can get back to 85 next year - ignoring the obvious fallout from the “no one progresses in eligibility in 2020” rule - and will absolutely find a way to do so.
If every senior plus Nick Bolton leaves after this season that would be 20 guys off the roster with, currently, 19 recruits coming in, putting the Tigers at 76 scholarships for 2021. Let’s assume Chance Luper gets put on scholarship to make it 77: that means the Tigers have 8 scholarships to dole out in this class for high school/JUCO/transfer candidates, meaning they could field a class of 27. We’ll see what the transfer market yields but we’ll take a further look at the high school ranks next week to see where those scholarships can go.
Next week we’ll dive into the status of the 2021 and 2022 recruiting classes!