clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pourover: On Eli Drinkwitz and shooting Par in recruiting

Mizzou’s miss on Cayden Green is a setback for a coach who has raised the stakes in recruiting.

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

Cayden Green committed to Oklahoma.

The Sooners were the proverbial favorite to land the 4-star top 100 Offensive Tackle out of Lee’s Summit North High School for months. Mizzou was playing catchup, and reportedly nearly caught up. The final four for Green were listed as Oklahoma, LSU, Nebraska and Missouri. But it really came down to whether Mizzou could move the needle enough to pull Green away from Norman. In the end, even a fantastic official visit wasn’t enough.

Losing out on in-state top 100 players has long been par for the course in Missouri recruiting. But the Eli Drinkwitz took the job and reset fan expectations, which is why there was an outspoken negative reaction to the Tigers losing out on Green. Drink, for better or worse, has reset the bar.

Under Gary Pinkel and Barry Odom, elite level in-state stars stayed home on occasion. We know them all well. But it wasn’t the norm for the elite player to stay home and play for Mizzou. But Ondre Pipkins, Durron Neal, Ezekiel Elliot, Ronnie Perkins, Michael Thompson, Kamryn Babb, Jameson Williams, Dontate Manning, Jordan Johnson, Antonio Doyle, and even Mookie Cooper all went elsewhere. Most went to “blue blood” schools like Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Ohio State... a few went to Missouri, but not many. And fewer in the top 100.

But with 2022 being Eli Drinkwitz’s first full class, he still missed on Kevin Coleman. Tyson Ford went to Notre Dame. But Drinkwitz landed the crown jewel in Luther Burden.

In 2021 Mizzou finished 11th in the SEC in recruiting. In ‘22, they finished 6th. Keeping in mind how competitive recruiting in the SEC is, 6th is an achievement at Missouri. But with achieving higher marks come higher expectations. The fan base — at least those who closely follow recruiting and talk about Mizzou Football year round — were energized by that success. And while Green picking the Sooners stings a bit, it’s probably more as it opens old wounds than any connection with the current Missouri class.

Green projects to be a monster Offensive Tackle, but the Tigers are still in good with some high level prospects. Logan Reichert is an equally massive Tackle prospect, checking in at 6’7 and 345 lbs. He’s a 4-star and a top 400 player in the country and plays his high school football in Raytown, Missouri. Ranked 182nd is East St. Louis native Miles McVay. At 6’6 and 360 pounds, McVay is a big part of the plans for the Tigers still in this recruiting class. And the Luther Burden commitment had him take notice.

There’s also plenty of talent on the current roster, and it’s improving with each class. There’s also a small point where the best Mizzou teams in the last 15 years hardly featured elite recruits along the offensive line.

What I’m getting at here is that Nate is right. Let’s now worry about where the class is yet. There’s already a 4-star quarterback committed, and the Tigers are in good shape with a lot of talented guys. There’s also a hefty amount of talent on the roster who’ve barely been on the roster a full calendar year. They still have a chance to elevate the program, as much as Drinkwitz has elevated the expectations in recruiting.