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UPDATED: Scholarship Count

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Let’s revisit the list of scholarship athletes after some recent defections

NCAA Football: Alabama at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With Montra Edwards and CJay Boone hitting the transfer portal - and Missouri coming off of a sleepy Bye week - now is as good a time as any to revisit the current scholarship list to see what the Tigers are working with.

Keep in mind: the NCAA froze eligibility for the 2020 season, so anyone on this list is free to come back at the same eligibility classification that they are now. Are you a redshirt senior in 2020? Cool, you can be one in 2021 as well. True freshman who plays every game in 2020? Now you’re a true freshman in 2021! I know a decent amount about about Missouri football, but I cannot even start to guess at who will be staying or leaving at the end of this year. So, this exercise is less of a “oh these guys are definitely gone” and more of a “here’s everyone that’s left.” But, for our purposes, let’s just assume that all the guys in the graduating class of 2020 do decide to leave.

Also, while reading these charts, the names in italics are projected incoming recruits.

Offense

Offensive Scholarship List

Angel Matute and Brendan Scales are skipping 2020 for non-COVID medical reasons, so while they’re not currently on the roster, I kept them on here for our purposes. Same for the COVID opt-out guys as well.

40 guys currently sit in the offensive meeting room— 8 seniors, 12 juniors, 8 sophomores, 12 redshirt/true freshmen. As one could expect, over half of those guys are receivers and linemen and those two groups are only projected to lose five guys. The bulk is in the junior class, so while there might not be many losses after 2020, they’ll definitely start feeling a gap once the 2021 class graduates.

Currently, Missouri is projected to bring in six guys on the offensive side of the ball and definitely has room to bring in more to replace the potential eight losses. Receiver is a huge need right now, seeing as they have zero commits so far, but they also need a few more linemen to try and get back some class balance. The Tigers are probably going to sit on the current haul of QB/RB/TE, assuming no one defects.

Defense

Defensive Scholarship List

Just a friendly reminder that the defense is expecting to lose a ton of dudes.

Of the 37 guys on the defensive roster, 11 are seniors, 5 are juniors, 12 are sophomores, and 9 are redshirt/true freshmen. Now, they’re also projected to sign 11 guys in this year’s recruiting class, but that’s still a huge youth movement that’ll be taking place across every position.

Even with Daniel Robledo projected as a defensive tackle, the Tigers should probably get at least one more defensive tackle. Linebacker is less of an issue since they only deploy two on the field at a time, but that means they need to get more safeties signed as well. Regardless on if Walters keeps his 3-4/4-2-5 blend, safety is an important hybrid position in the Walters defense and he needs lots of athletic guys that can do a little bit of everything. They currently have one signed and are expecting to lose two. End, linebacker, and cornerback are certainly good to go (for now).

Specialists

Foot People Scholarship List

It’s not common to have both a kicker and punter on scholarship, but both McKinnis and Mevis have certainly shown that they deserve it. McKinnis should be gone after this year, but Mevis will (hopefully) be our star kicker for years to come. It takes a special kind of punter to put on scholarship — and so far it doesn’t seem that Drinkwitz’s staff is pursuing any — so there’s a solid chance that they hit up their walk-ons to fill the roll next year and free up a scholarship.

Conclusion

Missouri technically has 79 guys on scholarship in 2020. Under normal circumstances, they would lose 20, taking them down to 59, and have the ability to get back to 85 in 2021. Meaning, they could sign the maximum allowed recruits in the 2021 class, 25. They currently have 17 commits, so conceivably, 8 more guys could sign, either via high school, JUCO, or transfer. I anticipate Missouri doing just that, but what that means for the current seniors who want to return and how rosters are balanced going forward is unclear.