Wednesday marks the first day Class of 2020 athletes can sign letters of intent with FBS football programs.

Missouri will pick up at least 12 new Tigers during the day with a possibility for more. That could be seen as a positive despite being ranked by a few recruiting sources as having the second-worst collective of Class of 2020 athletes.

The Tigers fired former head coach Barry Odom on Nov. 30 and officially announced his replacement, Eliah Drinkwitz, last week.

On Drinkwitz’s eighth official day on the job, he’ll welcome Columbia’s newest additions after hosting a large group of them last weekend.

Drinkwitz and assistant head coach Brick Haley have been seen making stops along the recruiting trail since last Tuesday’s formal introduction with notable stops in St. Louis, Tennessee and Texas.

Here’s a look at the players that are expected to sign with Missouri Wednesday from Danny Heitert of STC Grid Reports, who has been evaluating high-school football prospects for three decades.

Will Norris, ILB, 6-foot-1, 216 pounds, Rock Bridge High School: If he’s fast enough, he’s good enough. Although limited burst is a legitimate concern, Norris is instinctive, quite good within confined space and competent in open space. He plays downhill, is a sure tackler, but is prone to lose field leverage to fast flow running backs who bend back against that LB flow.

Jay Maclin, WR, 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Kirkwood High School: Maclin’s statistics and bloodline screams wide receiver, but Maclin could be an even better defensive back. He’s noticeably bigger, stronger and faster this season. Maclin’s stop-start and change of direction are upper echelon. He combines quickness and fine ball skills with his strong, fluid running style and precise route execution. Maclin’s a physical run support guy who closes to the ball and pummels ball carriers. He considered offers from Arizona State, Iowa and Kentucky before committing to Missouri.

Kevon Billingsley, DE, 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, East St. Louis (Ill.) High School: Billingsley is impressive physically, but is often tentative and displays rather common block shed ability and burst. But there are other times when Billingsley displays fine toughness at the point of attack, closes fast to the ball and causes fumbles with jolting collisions. Billingsley is a consistently effective pass rusher who collapses the pocket until he resolutely disconnects from blockers and smokes drop-back passers. After transferring from Lutheran North to East St. Louis High for his senior season, he amped up his competitiveness and intensity. He considered offers from LSU, Georgia, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan before committing to Missouri.

Jaylon Carlies, WR, 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Florida: Raw, unpolished wide receiver with good upside who regularly plays against some of the South's best secondaries. Despite his quickness and yardage-inhaling stride length, Carlies dawdles too long getting off the line of scrimmage. While his routes lack precision, he routinely makes the high-degree-of-difficulty catches. Carlies is unafraid of impending contact, is difficult to tackle on the ground post-catch and is a very willing and effective stalk blocker. Considered offers from Miami, Pittsburgh, Central Florida, Maryland and Syracuse before committing to Missouri.

Brady Cook, QB, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Chaminade High School: This quarterback took a significant developmental step forward during the run up to his senior season. Missouri offered a scholarship early when Cook had undervalued stock and now will likely pay solid dividends further down the line. Cook’s pre-snap and post-snap reads continue to sharpen. Cook is an advanced play-action quarterback who can ad-lib to buy time. He has improved his ability to throw intermediate passes into small windows. Cook has timing, touch and poise, but will occasionally throw passes that lack precision. Cook was the first in-state recruit to give oral commit to Missouri.

Ray Curry, OT, 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, White Station High School in Memphis, Tennessee: Took a quantum leap forward from his junior to senior season. Although he was a promising underclassman offensive tackle prospect, Curry was not consistently quick off the ball, did not exhibit explosive pop and generally played standing straight. As a senior, Curry revealed previously dormant quickness that resulted in newly applied power and sustained attachment to defenders. Curry also pivots easily and combo blocks well. Considered offers from Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas before committing to Missouri.

Drake Heismeyer, OT, 6-foot-3, 283 pounds, Francis Howell High School: This high school offensive tackle, who projects inside in college, displays explosive pop, uses his hands combatively and works efficiently within confined space. He exhibits a very quick first step, then sustains good footwork through the whistle. Heismeyer bends, torques and adjusts to defenders’ speed in real time. He’s similar to Lee's Summit West’s Evan Boehm (Missouri & Arizona Cardinals) at the same stage in 2011.

Tyler Jones, Safety, 5-foot-11, 181 pounds, West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Florida: He’s a versatile safety with a real taste for run support, both in open and confined spaces. Despite his downhill mentality, Jones doesn’t get baited by play action. Jones is a very acceptable deep cover guy from the hash marks but really excels in the curl-to-flat zones. Considered offers from Minnesota, Louisville, Cincinnati, North Carolina State, Indiana, Maryland, Syracuse, Purdue and Colorado State before committing to Missouri.

Dominique Johnson, RB, 6-foot-0, 224 pounds, Crowley High School in Crowley, Texas: Johnson is a suspect running back prospect whose strength is his actual functional strength and the yards-after-contact premium he provides. He’s a long-strider with size but exhibits an underdeveloped change of direction. Johnson shows occasional explosive pop but very good contact balance. The Missouri brain trust (which rarely missed identifying successful running backs) imagined that this spread-set running back with ball skills could have his latent evasion skills nourished and a Larry Rountree-like scenario play out. Considered offers from Texas Southern, Houston Baptist and Illinois State before committing to Missouri.

Mitchell Walters, OT, 6-foot-8, 275 pounds, Mehlville High School: Walters is very inconsistent at displaying explosive pop but does exhibit quickness and good feet. Walters’ contact balance has improved while his tendency to lunge has diminished. He seems to play to the level of the competition. Walters generally plays well against quick and athletic ends but then inexplicably whiffs against ordinary competition. He considered offers from Arizona, Baylor, Kentucky, TCU and Minnesota before committing to Missouri.

In addition, Missouri is expected to sign kicker and punter Harrison Mevis from Warsaw, Indiana and running back Elijah Young from South-Doyle High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. Heitert did not provide in-depth reviews of either Mevis or Young.


Four-star wide receiver Javian “JJ” Hester remains a strong possibility of becoming Missouri’s 13th signee on Wednesday after visiting Columbia last weekend.

Hester, who is 6-foot-4 and from Tulsa, Oklahoma, also recently visited UCLA.

Here’s Heitert’s assessment of Hester: He’s a versatile playmaker on either side of the ball with similarities to last season’s Kirkwood High School recruit Maurice Massey. On offense, he plays as a wide receiver who runs with a gliding, long stride while diminishing his profile after the catch and becoming a torqueing hard target, upfield attacker. He changes speeds effectively, makes defenders whiff and generates great effort to win tackles. Hester makes the high-degree-of-difficulty grabs and is a willing, effective stalk blocker. He doubles as a plug-and-play hash mark safety who displays a wide-range break on thrown balls from his hash-mark alignment, but also can drop down into the box and strike ball carriers. He gets off blocks and is such a certain tackler that Hester is likely a better defensive prospect than wide receiver prospect.

Over the course of the fall, and especially since Odom’s firing, Missouri has had a few players decommit from the school and pledge their future to another Power Five team.

Rock Bridge’s Jalen Logan-Redding flipped from Missouri to Minnesota on Sunday, Lutheran North’s Antonio Doyle committed to Missouri over the summer, but eventually changed his mind and verbally committed to Texas A&M on Monday.

Cooper Davis, from Viera, Florida, changed his commitment from Missouri to Illinois last week, while Robert Wooten, from Stafford, Texas, switched to Virginia Tech on Tuesday after decommitting within a day of Odom’s firing.

Trinity Catholic offensive lineman Jalen St. John and Lexington, Mississippi defensive tackle Montra Edwards both decommitted from Missouri, are still considering the Tigers but have yet to indicate where they’re headed.

Edwards said on social media he’ll take official visits to Missouri, Maryland and Arkansas in January.


All three Power Five Conference commits from Columbia will sign their letters of intent on Wednesday.

Alongside Rock Bridge’s Logan-Redding (Minnesota) and Norris (Missouri), Tolton’s Monroe Mills will make it official with Oklahoma State.

No other Boone County football player will sign a letter of intent on Wednesday, but over a dozen others will do so near the end of the signing window in February.

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