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Recruiting Reset: Armand Membou checks all the boxes of a prototypical Eli Drinkwitz offensive line prospect

Drinkwitz wants to seal the borders and he’s on the search for big and strong offensive linemen. Membou checks all the right boxes.

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

In-state recruiting is the lifeblood of a program. There’s a reason why new coaches mention it at the top of their introductory press conference. Last week we broke down what it really means to “seal the borders” in the state of Missouri. The goal? Getting a commitment from roughly 50 percent of the in-state 3-stars, and 25 percent of the in-state blue chip recruits.

The Tigers took a step toward that goal last week when Drinkwitz secured a commitment from 3-star offensive guard Armand Membou.

Membou is relatively new to football. He reportedly started playing in eighth grade and he’s told reporters he “wasn’t very good” early on. In fact, he started out on the “B team” and didn’t make the varsity team at Lee’s Summit North until last season.

His recruiting has taken a rocket ship trajectory ever since. Rivals rates Membou as the 18th best offensive guard in the country and the 14th best player in the state of Missouri. He passed up offers from Arkansas, Iowa State, Kansas, Nebraska and Oregon to join forces with the Tigers.

What does his commitment mean for Mizzou’s offensive line? Let’s take a look.

Where he fits: Membou certainly projects to play on the interior. He’s big (6-foot-4, 290 pounds), but his best attribute based on his high school film is his ability to destroy unassuming defensive linemen and linebackers in the running game. He’ll fit in nicely in Drinkwitz’s downhill run game.

He’s also a sneaky impressive athlete. Membou has stated in past interviews that his wrestling background helps his football game, and you can certainly see that on film. He plays with good leverage and knows how to use his body.

When he’ll play: It might be a minute before we see Membou on the field for the Tigers. He’s relatively new to the sport and he could use some fundamental work. That’s not to suggest he can’t help the Tigers. He certainly can. But it’s going to take some time with offensive line coach Marcus Johnson.

It’s also worth noting that the Tigers are stacked at guard for the foreseeable future. Case Cook theoretically has another year of eligibility if he wants to use it. Xavier Delgado, Luke Griffin and E.J. Ndoma-Ogar will all likely start ahead of Membou on the depth chart when he arrives.

Membou will likely spend a couple years developing before mixing into the starting rotation.

What it all means: The Tigers just added a high upside in-state interior offensive lineman who projects to dominate in the run game after he spends some time in an SEC strength & conditioning program.

It could take some time for this commitment to pay off, but it’s always worth betting on athleticism and size at this level. The Tigers did it last year with in the transfer market with Ndoma-Ogar, and they’re getting a similar type of player this time around with Membou.

It’s also worth noting the size of the offensive linemen Drinkwitz has added since taking over at Mizzou.

  • Offensive Tackle J’Marion Gooch: 6-foot-8, 340 pounds
  • Offensive Tackle Connor Tollison: 6-foot-5, 305 pounds
  • Center Drake Heismeyer: 6-foot-3, 285 pounds
  • Offensive Tackle Mitchell Walters: 6-foot-8, 275 pounds
  • Offensive Tackle Zeke Powell: 6-foot-5, 295 pounds
  • Offensive Guard EJ Ndoma-Ogar 6-foot-3, 325 pounds

Remember the Gary Pinkel mold of finding athletic bodied offensive linemen who project to fill out over two to three years when they arrive at Mizzou? Yeah, you can kiss that goodbye under Drinkwitz.

Membou, listed at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, certainly fits the profile Drinkwitz seems to be looking for. Being an in-state kid is certainly an added benefit.

Mizzou 2023 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
TE Brett Norfleet St. Charles, MO 11/21/2021 4-star 5.8 3-star 0.9078 6'7 225
DE Jahkai Lang Troy, MO 12/17/2021 3-star 5.7 3-star 0.8778 6'4 240
QB Gabarri Johnson Tacoma, WA 5/8/2022 4-star 5.8 4-star 0.8956 6'0 200
K Blake Craig Liberty, MO 6/5/2022 2-star 5.3 NA NA 5'11 180
WR Marquis Johnson Dickinson, TX 6/13/2022 N/A N/A 3-star 0.8711 6'0 176
DB Nicholas DeLoach, Jr Cahokia, IL 6/25/2022 3-star 5.5 3-star 0.8467 6'1 170
ATH Jamal Roberts St. Louis, MO 7/3/2022 3-star 5.6 3-star 0.8689 6'1 200
WR Joshua Manning Lee's Summit, MO 7/21/2022 4-star 5.8 4-star 0.9111 6'3 190
CB Shamar McNeil Fort Lauderdale, FL 7/30/2022 3-star 5.5 3-star 0.8417 6'3 175
LB Brayshawn Littlejohn Gaffney, SC 8/14/2022 3-star 5.5 3-star 0.8558 6'2 220
OT Logan Reichert Raytown, MO 9/8/2022 4-star 5.9 4-star 0.8997 6'7 345
DB Phillip Roche Merrilville, IN 10/11/2022 3-star 5.6 3-star 0.8400 6'1 190
WR Daniel Blood Destrehan, LA 11/24/2022 3-star 5.5 3-star 0.8511 6'0 175
LB Triston Newson Independence, MS 11/25/2022 NA NA NA NA 6'1 225
S Marvin Burks Jr. St. Louis, MO 12/4/2022 4-star 5.80 4-star 0.9018 6'2 195
5.64 0.8745