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Recruiting Reset: Our first glimpse into what Eli Drinkwitz is looking for in a QB

East St. Louis 3-star QB Tyler Macon commits to Mizzou and gives us our first opportunity to find out what Drinkwitz is looking for in his starting QB.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 Appalachian State at South Carolina Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The higher the level of football your play, the more important the quartebrack position becomes. That’s a simplistic statement, but it’s true. A quarterback might not be high on your priority list as a middle school coach, but by the time you get to college, it’s pretty darn important.

We’ve seen just how important in the last 20 years at Mizzou.

Gary Pinkel’s success was largely tied to his success at identifying and developing quarterbacks. It started with Brad Smith and continued through Drew Lock’s tenure at Missouri. If Eli Drinkwitz is going to follow in Pinkel’s footsteps, it starts with the quarterback position. Over the last week we got our first glimpse into what he may be looking for in his signal-caller.

Drinkwitz landed a commitment from East St. Louis 3-star quarterback Tyler Macon despite an NCAA mandated dead period. It’s the first glimpse into what Drink looks for in a quarterback since his opening press conference when he gave the criteria he uses to evaluate quarterbacks.

On what he looks for in a QB: “I look for five characteristics in a quarterback: toughness, preparation, decision-making, accuracy and leadership. Those five requirements don’t fit in a box. Leaders comes in all shapes and sizes, quarterbacks come in all shapes and sizes. But I think all great quarterbacks possess those five things.”

From everything we can see, Macon seems to fit the bill. His coach praises his toughness. Opponents are stunned by how calm he is in the pocket. He completed 70 percent of his passes last season. And his team finished the year undefeated, which would seem to speak volumes about his leadership.

Macon had 10 known offers including Illinois, Iowa and Iowa State after being named the 2019 EDGYTIM/Rivals.com Illinois Player of the Year. Now he’s expected to be a Tiger. What does it mean? Let’s dive into some of the specifics.

Where he fits: Macon is Drinkwitz’s first quarterback. There are quarterbacks on the roster, sure. But Macon is the first one who Drinkwitz evaluated, recruited and, hopefully, signs. That’s significant. We still don’t know exactly what Drink wants in his quarterback, but this signing at least gives us an idea of what he prefers. Macon is a true dual-threat quarterback who can cause damage both with his arm and on the ground. He appears to be a quick decision-maker who could thrive in Drinkwitz’s pro-tempo offense.

When he’ll play: It’s tough to say, but there will be ample opportunity sooner than later. The Tigers have just four quarterbacks on the roster: redshirt juniors Shawn Robinson and Taylor Powell, redshirt freshman Connor Bazelak and freshman Brady Cook.

By Macon’s second season on campus, Bazelak and Cook will be his only competition that are currently on the roster. If Robinson wins the starting job this season as expected, the 2022 season could be when Macon has an opportunity to make his mark.

What it all means: For my money, Drinkwitz hit a home run. Nobody knows what Macon will become as a college quarterback. But he seems to fit the criteria Drink has for his quarterbacks, he’s coming from a school in East St. Louis that produces a ton of talent on an annual basis, and Drinkwitz locks down one of the best players in the state of Illinois.

Mizzou 2021 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
DT Mekhi Wingo St. Louis, MO 1/19/2020 3-star 5.5 3-star 0.8316 6'0 285
TE Gavin McKay Memphis, TN 1/30/2020 3-star 5.5 3-star 0.8333 6'4 205
OL Connor Tollison Jackson, MO 3/8/2020 3-star 5.5 3-star 0.8567 6'5 300
QB Tyler Macon East St. Louis, IL 3/13/2020 3-star 5.6 3-star 0.8577 6'0 180
5.50 0.8448