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Eli Drinkwitz is off to a fantastic start on the recruiting trail

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One of the biggest questions about Drinkwitz was his ability to recruit at the SEC level. Mizzou fans should be thrilled with the early results.

drinkwitz press conference

If you’ve been paying any attention to the Mizzou football news in recent days, you know Eli Drinkwitz is, as the kids say, on a bit of a heater.

It started Thursday when 3-star defensive end Shemar Pearl’s committed. It continued Tuesday night with 3-star safety Tyler Hibbler’s commitment. Hibbler finalized a stretch of five commitments in six days, and 15 known commitments as of the writing of this post. Missouri now boasts the 20th ranked recruiting class in the country.

That’ll play.

One of the biggest questions when Drink was hired was whether or not he could recruit at an SEC level. It’s early, but the evidence seems to suggest the answer is a resounding yes, he absolutely can.

But let’s expand on that a bit. Because it’s not just that Drink is doing well on the recruiting trail. Right now, he’s doing things we haven’t seen matched by the Tigers in the last decade.

Mizzou Football Recruiting Ranks (Rivals)

Year: Coach: Class Rank: Total Commits: Average Star Rating:
Year: Coach: Class Rank: Total Commits: Average Star Rating:
2011 PINKEL 48 17 3.06
2012 PINKEL 31 19 3.11
2013 PINKEL 41 21 2.95
2014 PINKEL 34 28 2.79
2015 PINKEL 27 25 3.2
2016 PINKEL/ODOM 47 22 2.91
2017 ODOM 49 25 2.8
2018 ODOM 39 26 2.85
2019 ODOM 34 22 3
2020 ODOM/DRINK 47 16 2.94
2021 DRINK 20 15 3.13

Before we start going gaga over these results, let’s start with a couple important disclaimers:

  1. It’s early. Like, really early. We have no idea how many of these kids will sign with Missouri. Decommitments happen, and Drink won’t be immune to that reality. Nick Saban still has plenty of time to give his pitch if Alabama comes knocking for any of the Tigers’ commits.
  2. This is an offseason unlike anything we’ve seen, and it will soon lead into a season that could be unlike anything we’ve seen. It’s difficult to compare the recruiting we’ve seen from March through June to anything we’ve seen in modern history, much less the last decade. That’s not to suggest it won’t matter or can’t give us some evidence that Drink is doing a good job, but it’s important to keep in the back of your mind as we look through these results.

Alright, we got the disclaimers out of the way.

Now for the analysis you can only get here at Rock M Nation:

HOT DAMN, DRINK. LET’S GO!!!

Mizzou currently boasts the second highest average rated recruit of any MU class since 2010. The 20th rated class in the country would be the Tigers’ best finish in the Rivals era (since 2002).

A reminder: All of this is taking place under a first year head coach with all of one year of being a head coach on his resume. He’s never had to recruit at this level. And yet, Missouri’s recruiting class is rated higher in both team rating and average star rating than Nebraska, Arkansas, UCLA, Oklahoma State, Kentucky and Michigan State.

It’s a hell of a start. It deserves all the praise it’s receiving. Will the class finish the year ranked in the top 20? Probably not. But it very well could finish inside the top 35. Barry Odom accomplished that just once in three full recruiting cycles.