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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Here’s what Eli Drinkwitz had to say about the 2023 recruiting class

Here's what Eli Drinkwitz had to say about the 2023 recruiting class

Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz said earlier this week he hasn’t been able to reflect on the season to this point and that his focus has been “all gas” on the team’s Dec. 23 matchup against Wake Forest, but with the first day of the early signing period in the books, he was able to admire what he and the coaching staff were able to do with this recruiting class. Especially, when it comes to in-state recruits.

“When you look at the players that we were able to get there are a lot of really good players in the state, but it’s all about finding those guys that really want to be a true son,” Drinkwitz said. “So, I’m very excited about those guys and our ability to attract quality players and as they see local players play for us and contribute 一 like.

Jamal Roberts is a state champion,” Drinkwitz said. “Joshua Manning is an elite wide receiver who had several offers come in late. Talk about Brett Norfleet, a state champion who had every offer in the country pretty much at tight end. Logan Reichert has elite size that can help us win in the trenches. Marvin Burks is a state champion who obviously had multiple offers that we were able to defeat. Blake Craig is a great kicker and then we include DeLoach there in that same thing across the river.”

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In total, Missouri had 21 commits (19 high school prospects and two transfers) sign on Wednesday including a surprise flip in three-star Wake Forest defensive tackle Commit Sam Williams.

The Tigers didn’t have any commits flip on them, but Drinkwitz was quite happy that he was able to get Williams to flip on the Tigers’ Gasparilla Bowl opponents.

“We kind of had an idea this was going to go our way during the coaches’ social that we had Monday night, so for all of us to have a straight face and not let that one kind of slip out was a little bit difficult,” Drinkwitz said. “But in recruiting that is kind of fun. I don’t rub it in probably as much as I’d like to, but it’s kind of fun when you beat people who think they’ve got you.”

“That’s a tribute to our coaching staff and all the hard work they did to build some relationships,” Drinkwitz said. “Obviously, when other schools have people lose commitments from their home state you tend to get worried, but we were able to maintain and hold on.

“Gabarri was a born leader and that’s something at that position you’ve got to always be excited about. He’s a playmaker with his feet and his arm 一 he’s got the ability to throw and he’s an accurate passer, but he’s also got that B button quickness and shake and bake ability.”

“I think it’s up to each individual person, what the maturity level is 一 time is one thing you never get back,” Drinkwitz said. They’re never going to get their senior year back in the spring and I hate to take that away from young men. So, I encourage them to stay, but it’s also their decision and if they want to enroll early 一 it’s no surprise Burden, Miller and Membou played this year because they’re early enrollees and all three of them had the spring to really get invested in our offense and ready to play.”

Drinkwitz was able to admire the program’s top 32 recruiting class on the first day of the early signing period, but he will now have to shift his focus back to preparing for the Demon Deacons on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in Tampa.

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