I’m a big fan of the ‘say it aloud’ test. It’s the easiest way to sort through the likely and the nonsensical. This week, it didn’t work for Missouri football. Because nothing about what happened this week made any sense.
Let’s put this to the test: A 3-star recruit out of Texas willingly chose to commit to Missouri over committable offers from out-of-state powerhouse Alabama or the in-state Longhorns.
That... That doesn’t pass the ‘say it aloud’ test. And it’s the single biggest reason thus far to be optimistic about what this coaching staff can accomplish at Mizzou.
I wrote earlier this week about how the coaching staff left a positive impression on media and fans alike with their initial comments. That’s not insignificant. Most of what coaches do this time of year is PR. And they passed their first test.
But those comments were nothing compared to the PR Mizzou got out of Ennis Rakestraw committing. This was one of the most significant and unlikely out-of-state Mizzou commitments I can remember. I don’t think that’s an overstatement.
"Coach, I'm coming home" - @EnnisRakestraw #MIZ x #NewZou20 pic.twitter.com/LPfNvWtmOh— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) February 5, 2020
Mizzou rarely wins recruiting battles over Alabama or Texas. The Tigers never win recruiting battles over Alabama or Texas when the player is FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS. This is absurd. It doesn’t make any sense. And yet, here we are, watching the reaction video a million times and hearing Lane Kiffin comment about how much he likes Eli Drinkwitz’s sweater.
This is what signing day is supposed to feel like. Excitement and energy now surround a program that’s been devoid of any such feeling since its mid-season collapse.
Drinkwitz has his first feather for his cap.
One of the most common questions we all heard from Mizzou fans when Jim Sterk hired a coach with Drinkwitz’s resume was about his recruiting chops. It was a fair question. And it’s frankly a question we still don’t have a firm answer on, but at least now we have an indication it’s less of a concern than initially expected.
Drinkwitz and his staff just proved they can win recruiting battles against the best of the best. They might not do so consistently, but they have the ability to do so in specific scenarios.
That’s really all you can ask for at a program like Missouri.
The Tigers aren’t going to win a lot of battles for out-of-state recruits with committable offers from programs like Texas and Alabama. That’s not a fair expectation. But a new staff was able to do exactly that in its first three months on the job.
If that doesn’t get you excited about what they can do in the next recruiting cycle, I don’t know what will.