August 7, 2021

By Fred Liggett

Mizzou football fans are eagerly counting down the days till the Tigers take the field for the first time in 2021. That day will be Saturday, Sept. 4 when the Tigers kick off the new season against Central Michigan. Tigers fans will cheer for some familiar faces who return to play for the team this fall. Thanks to recruiting efforts by the current football staff, Tigers fans in Lee’s Summit may see players who at one time lived just down the street from them.

Casey Woods, Mizzou’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, admits the Tigers recruiting the Kansas City area “is having some success.” Woods credits Mizzou football head coach Eli Drinkwitz for the new found success in finding talent in the Lee’s Summit and surrounding area. Woods says, “Coach Drink wants to recruit the state like never before including the Kansas side of KC and the Illinois side of St. Louis.”

The recruiting class of 2022 for the Tigers already includes Lee’s Summit High Tight End Max Whisner and Lee’s Summit North Offensive Guard Armand Membo. Walking on to the team this fall is former LS North Wide Receiver Logan Muckey. Woods states the Tigers staff plans to “recruit Lee’s Summit Schools hard like all schools in Kansas City.”

What’s it take to be a future Mizzou Tiger? Woods says they look “for guys who check all the boxes.” The staff begins with “an identification stage” where they see “guys stand out on a talent standpoint.” Then recruiters look at physical, mental and take a full picture of a player. The coaches watch tape first, then ask questions about the player from all those in his life.

One member of the Mizzou coaching staff happy to see this success is former Lee’s Summit West product Kevin Pendleton. KP, as he is called by members of the Mizzou family, says the success “has been awesome and to see Coach Drink values it.” Pendleton feels the staff is “trying to do it better than ever before.” Having a number of Lee’s Summit players come to Mizzou “means a lot” Pendleton states, adding back home “We walked the same streets, went to the same movie theatres and help each other out.”

The 2021 Mizzou Tigers football team reported to campus on Thursday this week with the first full team practice set for the morning of Friday, Aug. 6. The Tigers open the season 29 days later on Sept. 4 taking on Central Michigan at Faurot Field.