COLUMBIA, Mo. — Eli Drinkwitz and the Missouri football program are making the most of things.
Since the NCAA removed its recruiting dead period and allowed in-person recruiting beginning June 1, Drinkwitz and the Tigers have picked up three transfers, to be added to the 2021 class — Connor Wood, Akayleb Evans and Allie Green IV — and also flipped the commitment of 4-star defender Marcus Scott II from LSU in the 2022 class.
All four pledges have come within the past week, starting last Thursday with Wood, a former Montana State offensive lineman. The Meridian, Idaho, native entered the transfer portal this offseason, and was named a FCS Freshman All-American honors from Hero Sports in 2018. Listed at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, Wood played right tackle for the Bobcats and also had an offer from Indiana.
"I'm very excited to announce that I can fulfill my life long dream of playing at Mizzou in the SEC," Wood tweeted.
The program's next move was solidifying the corner position, which was an area of weakness last season for the Tigers, particularly against Georgia. Evans and Green, highly sought-after cornerbacks from Tulsa, joined in, with Evans committing last Friday and Green following suit Thursday.
Both follow former Golden Hurricane defensive backs coach Aaron Fletcher to Columbia after Fletcher joined Drinkwitz's defensive staff earlier this year and helped anchor one of the nation's best pass defenses: the Golden Hurricane allowed an average of 6.1 yards per attempt, tied for seventh in the nation, and 189.6 yards per game, 18th nationally.
Evans is listed at 6-2, 188 pounds, and started 23 games in his career at Tulsa. The McKinney, Texas native joins Missouri as a graduate transfer and totaled 24 solo tackles, 29 tackles, 1 tackles for loss, one sack, three pass breakups and one forced fumble for Tulsa in 2020. Evans had offers from a bevy of Power 5 programs, and narrowed down his top five to Jackson State, Notre Dame, Texas, Texas Tech and Missouri.
"I'm trying to team back up with (Green)," Evans tweeted on May 28, tagging Green. "New team. Same mission," with Green responding "The best duo in the nation".
Green, listed at 6-3, 206 pounds, is also a graduate transfer, and was offered by the Missouri staff shortly after Evans' commitment. He started eight games for Tulsa last season, recording 24 solo tackles, 28 tackles, two tackles for loss, an interception, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup, and has started 25 career games. Green also had offers from Texas Tech, Arkansas, Louisiana Tech and Hawaii.
Wood, Evans and Green will all have one year of eligibility remaining at Missouri.
Drinkwitz and the Missouri staff pulled off some impressive recruiting work over the weekend to get Scott to flip from his pledge to LSU, which he did after visiting June 11. Scott is a 4-star prospect at Rivals.com and ESPN and a 3-star prospect at 247sports.com, listed as the No. 36 cornerback in the country per the 247sports composite.
A Conroe, Texas native, Scott and his College Park teammates won a Texas 6A state title in the 4x400 meter relay in May, finishing in 3:13.37.
By the 247sports rankings, Missouri's 2022 class is currently 14th in the country, thanks to the commitments of QB Sam Horn, DL Marquis Gracial, safety Isaac Thompson and WR Ja'Marion Wayne, all listed as composite 4-star prospects. Scott's pledge gives the Tigers five players in the top 400 nationally.