Mizzou football's new-look Case Cook donates mullet to Wigs For Kids

Eric Blum
Columbia Daily Tribune

Missouri football fans have a few indicators as to identifying players on the team.

The easiest two would be jersey number or where they line up in any given formation. For others, it could be their hair. 

Missouri offensive lineman Case Cook fit into the Tigers' most-recognizable haircut group until January.

After playing every snap of his three-season Missouri career with a business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back mullet that Billy Ray Cyrus would approve of, Missouri's only returning team captain from the 2020 season headed to the barber shop. 

Cook had 14 inches of his elongated locks cut off in January and donated them to Wigs For Kids, "a charitable organization providing free custom wigs made from real hair to children who lost their hair due to illness, treatments or burns," per its website. 

"I knew I was going to cut it off after the season. I just wasn't sure exactly about the timing," Cook said earlier this month about his haircut. "I figured it's about time to get a normal haircut. I figured if I was going to cut it off, I might as well do it for a good cause.

Missouri offensive lineman Case Cook stretches during spring practice March 16 at the Kadlec Practice Fields.

"I shipped it off and Wig For Kids, they have it and they're going to turn it into a wig and hopefully that will benefit somebody down the road. They sent me a couple emails, let me know they received it and everything like that. Hopefully they do something good with it."

Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz learned of Cook's haircut from the offensive lineman's mother and first saw Cook with his crew cut after winter break.

"I think a mullet is, in college, it's business in the front, party in the rear, and that's kind of how you live your life when you're in college," Drinkwitz said. "... But as he's going into his internships this summer, it was probably best to kind of eliminate that party-in-the-rear-type conversation and just get on that business front."

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Drinkwitz noted Tigers long snapper Daniel Hawthorne also has a mullet and can own the party-in-the-back haircut as he's a sophomore with a few years left until graduation.

Cook's first snaps as a Tiger without his mullet will be Sept. 4 against Central Michigan.

Missouri offensive lineman Case Cook walks on the field Dec. 5 when the Tigers played Arkansas at Faurot Field.

"It continues to reveal who Case Cook is. I think we all know that he's a tremendous man of character, great work ethic, toughness," Drinkwitz said. "But who you are reveals itself over time, and it's just a continuation of who he really is."

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Cook played in all 10 of the Tigers' games last season and also started 10 of Missouri's 12 contests in 2019.

He figures to play a large role for the 2021 team as the only returning offensive lineman with multiple years of experience at Missouri as a starter. 

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"You've got to go out and earn it every day," Cook said of the 2021 team. "Regardless of how old you are, how many snaps you've played, you've got to go out and earn it and bust your butt every day to get better.

"The team goes as we go. The O-line, we have to go out there and set the tone and set the tempo and make sure we're going in the right direction."

Contact Eric Blum at eblum@columbiatribune.com. Follow @ByEricBlum on Twitter.

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