On Wednesday I live tweeted the Zoom conference - follow me @NateGEdwards or the Rock M flagship @RockMNation for updates - but here’s a centralized article for what we discussed!
How does Coach Luper feel about recruiting (without actually talking about recruiting)?
If you don’t know, coaches are not allowed to discuss their recruiting efforts with kids unless they’re officially signed, so any discussion on the topic is purposefully vague. But we asked anyway! If you remember back to my coaching profile piece, Luper has demonstrated a consistent ability to haul in solid recruiting classes and — as an individual anyway — is lauded as an elite recruiter. He said he was obviously happy with the results and believes that this staff is demonstrating how quickly they can build trust and rapport with recruits. Just like last week with Recruiting Coordinator Casey Woods, Luper understands that there is a possibility of a massive run of decommitments from all programs but said that they are actively working to stave that off. How? “It’s all about relationships,” he said. He mentioned that the staff had a meeting today where Coach Drinkwitz reiterated that all the coaches need to stay in constant contact with all of the commitments that they have in the pipeline. The philosophy behind that is that this staff believes that those commits are the most valuable because “they are ours” and are the ones who have shown enough interest to pledge themselves to the cause.
The Shawn Robinson Connection
I asked Coach Luper, “Since you have experience not only coordinating offenses but doing so with Shawn Robinson, is your role in the offense’s installation and management broader than it has been in your previous positions?” He unfortunately didn’t expand upon his role, but did say that he has known Shawn for 5 years, from recruiting all the way through their TCU days. He said he has a good feel for the kid and knows his ups and downs so his role right now is be that familiar face to Shawn and to help the offensive staff get to know his tendencies.
Two Lupers, One Campus
When asked about his son, Chance, being on the team that he coache,s Luper said that it “brings a smile to my face”. He said that when Chance was younger he liked basketball more because “he wasn’t about that contact” but grew to learn and enjoy football. Curtis said he told Chance that he could pick any school he wanted to go to but better not end up on the opposite sideline. He’s very excited to be able to get an extra 4 years of time with his youngest son, just as he did when his eldest played for TCU while Coach Luper was employed there.
Political Stances in the Locker Room
With the rash of players taking to social media to discuss the insensitive remarks and politically charged statements that their coaches bring up in public and in the locker room, I asked Coach Luper if there was any self-policing or accountability that the coaches take upon themselves to make sure they don’t alienate players, and if there’s a system in place to encourage players to come to the coaches to discuss change rather than take to twitter. Luper said that Coach Drinkwitz has hired good men and that he’s not concerned at all about their behavior or their ability to do the right thing. He said that the players they have and recruit will be held to high standards, but the coaches will be held to even higher standards. He also said that social media policies are in place to encourage players to come to the staff directly.
DPJ can see and that’s great!
It was an obviously traumatic experience and not something that one wants to recount over and over again, but Daniel Parker, Jr. did have his eye saved and can see things in his peripheral vision; that was not always a given four months ago. He’s feeling great and back to 100% so no worries there.
The Missouri football team is an oasis
The experiences on Missouri’s campus obviously differ based off of what you look like and who you love, but it sounds like the football locker room does not carry the same issues. Parker lit up when he talked about the march from the columns, registering to vote, and the trip that several players, white and black, took down to Jefferson City to march as well. He said that everywhere he looked there were people from all races and ethnicities taking part in the marches and that the locker room is one of the more supportive places for that type of discussion that he’s been a part of. The most impactful thing he said? “As long as I’ve been around the Mizzou football program, there’s never been any discrimination or racism. We’re all brothers and have always treated each other equally”. He says he made the right decision to come to Mizzou because each player and coach is an equal and he’s seeing that something as simple as that is not necessarily true across the country.