Eliah Drinkwitz, defensive ends coach Kevin Peoples and guard Xavier Delgado spoke with legendary Mizzou radio announcer Mike Kelly about what the team was up to during the bye week and previewed the matchup with UGA. on Tuesday at Bud’s Classic BBQ on 9th St.
Eliah Drinkwitz | Head Coach | 4th Season
- Drinkwitz’s daughters will be Taylor Swift and Disney characters that he forgot the name of (he roughly referenced a zombie cheerleader show).
- During the bye week, he said that the staff spent a day on self-scouting, a day on UGA, then spent Thursday and Friday on the recruiting trail. On Saturday, he was with family watching college football and on Sunday the staff got right into UGA work.
- The coaching staff has been playing the CBS college football theme song at the start of stretching periods this week. Drinkwitz was surprised that the guys didn’t recognize it cause they haven’t watched as much football, although the head coach is a big fan of the tune.
- Third down offense, tackling angles and man-to-man technique were a couple of bye week focuses.
- Players decorated meeting rooms and the coaches’ families were able to trick-or-treat in the facility by visiting each room. The staff also put together a hay ride and hot chocolate event. “We got to work a lot, but making time for our families is important, too.”
- On how the captains set a standard on this team: “There’s no choices when you want to be great, this is what it takes. On previous teams, there were some days where guys wouldn’t want to go 100%.”
- On Cody Schrader: “If you don’t come in low and drive your feet, you will bounce off of him. I remember the defender from Vandy came in at him sideways thinking he was going to lay something down, and he got his world rocked.”
- Drink name dropped Phillip Roche, Josh Manning and Gabbari Johnson as guys that showed out in the team’s weekly Monday Night Football showcase for younger players. This week was the “Super Bowl.” Cited that Johnson really fits what Kirby Moore’s offense tries to accomplish and sees a bright future for him.
- On how the recruiting pitch has changed over time: “In the first years, we were selling dreams. Now we’re selling tangible results.” Cited an example of Peeler having coached one of the best receivers in the NFL (A.J. Brown) as one major recruiting pull.
- “Coach Smart does not get nearly enough credit for what he has done in eight years there. There isn’t a lot of meat left on that bone, and I think he is doing his best coaching job right now.”
- On Carson Beck: “If you close your eyes, you’d believe that it’s Matthew Stafford or Aaron Murray back there because of the way he rips it.”
- Drink says he’s kept track of Kevin Peoples’ career and the DE rooms that he has coached. “He’s from Montana, so you have to have a certain level of toughness to be from there.”
- Calls Xavier Delgdao “Mr. Consistent,” says that X has played himself into the NFL Draft picture. “He gives me confidence going into every game because I know we are going to really solid on that left side.”
Kevin Peoples | Defensive Ends Coach | 2nd Season
- Shockingly, Peoples is not much of an outdoors guy. He says he blames his dad for that, although he’s from a Montana mining town, Helena, that is fairly different from the rest of the state.
- On why relationships with college football players are so special: “Any time you go through hardship with another human being and overcome adversity, you become so much closer. They go through so much as players and you just want them to trust you. You can’t hide who you are and you can’t be someone else that you aren’t.”
- On Darius Robinson: “There’s no fake about him, the way he presents himself is the way he is every single day. He knows how to treat people, regardless of its the president of the university or my wife.”
- Peoples also reminded Mizzou fans that Darius did not play a ton of high school ball, so he’s still relatively young in playing football. He said that D-Rob had his best practice of his career today.
- He also said that Johnny Walker Jr. stuck it out after wanting more reps last season and could have left in this day and age of the transfer portal.
- On Nyles Gaddy: “He’s changed the way he played. He was more of an outside linebacker at Jackson State, but he’s done a fantastic job in moving closer to the line.”
- In looking for defensive ends, Peoples says he looks for guys that are 6-foot-3 or taller and can get to over 250 lbs. while they are within the program. Passion is his next biggest thing to look out for.
- “You can’t be too good-looking, and you can’t have too much twitch.”
Xavier Delgado | Left Guard | Senior
- “This is the most fun I’ve had laying football in a long time. The O-line is as close as it has ever been, we’re always laughing and having a good time.”
- On Connor Tollison: “He’s one of the smartest football players I’ve ever been around, he’s changed night-and-day from last season to this one.”
- On sticking with Mizzou through coaching changes: “I could never see myself transferring, I’m going to start what I finished.”
- Delgado did not start playing football until his freshman year of high school.
- Delgado’s mom actually moved with him to Missouri. “Wherever you’re going, I’m going” she said.
- Delgado has a degree in Health Science, and he wants to potentially go into forensics because he’s always been interested in that.
- On what he would do with a free day: “I’m a homebody, I would be home playing 2K or Madden.”