football Edit

Drinkwitz shows up in style to recruit two in-state 2023 OL

KANSAS CITY — The carpool line at Lee’s Summit North high school had an unusual entrant Friday morning. A red and white Seal-O-Matic dump truck inched its way around the circle drive. When it reached the front doors of the school, it stopped and blasted a honk.

Out from the driver’s seat hopped a grinning Eli Drinkwitz.

It was a perfectly college football scene, which is to say that it likely would have left anyone unfamiliar with the sport baffled. But those who follow football recruiting, and especially anyone who is familiar with Missouri’s third-year head coach, might not have been surprised that he and offensive line coach Marcus Johnson spent the opening day of the year’s first recruiting contact period riding around Kansas City in construction vehicles.

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The dump truck Missouri's Eli Drinkwitz and Marcus Johnson drove to Lee's Summit North high school to recruit Cayden Green.
The dump truck Missouri's Eli Drinkwitz and Marcus Johnson drove to Lee's Summit North high school to recruit Cayden Green. (Mitchell Forde)

Drinkwitz’s mission was two-fold: First, impress the two top-100 offensive linemen that reside in the Kansas City area in Lee’s Summit North’s Cayden Green and Raytown’s Logan Reichert. Friday, the first day in-person contact has been allowed between college coaches and prospects since prior to December’s early signing period, marked the unofficial start of the 2023 recruiting class taking center stage. The local, four-star offensive line prospects (Green, Reichert and East St. Louis’ Miles McVay) are the Tigers’ clear-cut top targets in the class. Missouri will also host a junior day on its campus this weekend.

But the fact that Lee’s Summit North students snapped pictures of the dump truck as they walked into school and tweets about Drinkwitz’s unusual ride made the rounds on Twitter was by design, as well.

“Just to make sure everybody knows that Mizzou is prevalent, and we want to make sure that we control our state,” Drinkwitz said.

Drinkwitz described the idea to show up to Lee’s Summit North and Raytown as “a collaborative effort by our recruiting department.” As for why they chose dump trucks, Drinkwitz suggested it might have something to do with the position Green and Reichert play — while adhering to the NCAA’s rule against commenting about unsigned prospects, of course.

“We need big people to move big loads, and obviously if you want to play in the championship games, you’re going to have to handle big defensive lineman,” Drinkwitz said. “So just trying to make sure we recruit the size and the athleticism that we need in the trenches.”

Drinkwitz and Johnson didn’t just hop into any dump trucks. The Seal-O-Matic truck the pair drove through the Lee’s Summit North parking lot matched the school’s colors of red and white. After visiting with prospects inside the school for a while, the duo then met former Missouri tight end Martin Rucker and hopped in a blue and white dump truck emblazoned with the logo for Rucker’s company, Martin T. Rucker Development.

That truck took the coaches to Raytown high school, where Reichert, nicknamed “Dump Truck,” waited outside to greet it. The truck matched the blue and white end zones of the football field.

Rucker supplied a driver with his truck, so Drinkwitz simply rode shotgun. He did, however, drive the Seal-O-Matic truck, at least through the Lee’s Summit North parking lot. Drinkwitz said he wasn’t intimidated by the big rig. He still has a valid commercial driver’s license from his days as an Arkansas high school football coach, when he used to drive the team bus.

Former Missouri tight end Martin Rucker leant Drinkwitz the dump truck he drove to Raytown high school, home of four-star OL Logan Reichert.
Former Missouri tight end Martin Rucker leant Drinkwitz the dump truck he drove to Raytown high school, home of four-star OL Logan Reichert. (Mitchell Forde)

Green and Reichert weren’t available to be interviewed, so it’s not known whether the dump trucks made a positive impression. Reichert recently told Rivals that Michigan, Tennessee and Florida have been active in his recruitment, but Missouri appears to be in good standing with him. Reicher's mother graduated from Missouri and he’s been on campus multiple times in the past year. The staff will likely face tougher competition to land Green, who is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to Michigan this weekend and has an offer list that also includes Florida, Iowa, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M and USC. But they have an in via 2022 signee Armand Membou, who lined up opposite Green on the Lee’s Summit North offensive line.

There’s no doubt, however, that Drinkwitz and his dump trucks made a splash on social media. As always with Drinkwitz, that was part of the plan.

“Just trying to recreate ourselves and doing whatever we can to make sure this state knows how important these players are to us,” he said.


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