After landing all 21 of the expected signees and one surprise transfer (Sam Williams) today, Eliah Drinkwitz sat down for an upbeat press conference just days before his team’s bowl game.
The Tigers currently hold the 32nd overall (11th best in the SEC) recruiting class in the country according to 247sports.com. Players from eleven different states are represented in this early class as well, with seven players from the state of Missouri.
- “It’s a little bit warmer here in Tampa, although I’m wearing a sweater as a tip of my hat to all of you in Columbia cause I know how cold it is there.”
- “I’m gonna try not to say ‘very excited’ as much as possible during this press conference, but it’s always an good day when you’re able to add talent to your roster and to the brotherhood.”
- “We start on emphasizing the right fit for the University of Missouri.”
- “We were able to continue to keep the best players we can possibly from in-state, focusing on the Midwest, and then going and supplementing the talent around the country.”
- “We were able to add 6 state champions in this class, which for us is always a great sign when you’re able to add a winner.”
- “That’s a tribute to our coaching staff and all the relationships they were able to build.” On landing all of the previously committed players on signing day
- “When other schools had people lose commitments from their home-state, you tend to get worried. But we were able to maintain and hold on.”
- “Marvin Burks with the drama, he kinda faked us out twice.” Regarding what it took to keep some of these athletes committed to Mizzou
- “It’s a funny question because we kinda had an idea that this was going to go our way during the ‘coach’s social’ that we had Monday night. In recruiting...yeah it’s kinda fun. I don’t rub it in probably as much as I’d like to, but it’s kinda fun when you beat people who think they’ve got you.” On the satisfaction of flipping recruits, especially those from upcoming opponents.
- “When they see local players contributing for us, like Luther Burden is now and Armand (Membou) and Mekhi Miller playing as a true freshman. Even Dominic Lovett, first-team All-SEC player. We’re continuing to demonstrate: not only are we just recruiting those guys, but we’re recruiting guys who have the opportunity to play.” On how he feels he’s had success landing in-state players based on the current team
- “Gabarri Johnson is a born leader. He’s a playmaker with both his feet and his arm, and he’s got that b-button quickness and shake-and-bake ability.” On what to expect from new quarterback signee Gabarri Johnson
- “He allows us to really have the opportunity to play him at X and allow us to move Luther around the field more. That’ll allow us to create some matchup issues.” On the addition of Theo Wease and how it will affect the offense
- “We anticipate adding potentially one more defensive end if the right fit is there in the portal. The safety position has taken a bit of a turn for us, last year we were more of a 3-corner defense, now we’re more of a 3-safety defense. So we have to adjust numbers and make sure we enough players there. There’s always potential to take a player who can provide impact in competition. We never promise a starting position, we only offer a chance to compete.” On future targets in the transfer portal this offseason
- “Time’s one thing you never get back. When guys come and enroll early, they’re never gonna get their senior year back in the spring. We’re in such a rush to get things started, it’s up to each and every one of them and their families to decide. I always advise them to stay in school.” On athletes who choose to enroll early
- “He’s an oak. Never doubted it.” On Gabarri Johnson’s recruitment
- “There’s no such thing for me as ‘adding a player for numbers.’” On if he feels that they need to add a fourth member to the quarterback room
- “Recruiting never stops.”