COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Tigers hosted a seven-on-seven camp at their practice facilities on Thursday, bringing premier talent together from across the state.
21 schools fielded at least one team at the passing league camp. Lightning in the area restricted every program to Mizzou’s indoor practice facility for the first three hours of action, allowing for just one game at a time. The afternoon brought clearer skies, thankfully, and each program participated in 20-minute rolling clock passing league games.
Many of these programs came from St. Louis, including the Cardinal Ritter Lions. They brought a young squad that got to face a variety of strong teams at the event, and second-year head coach Bernard Spain was pleased to see such a wide field of competition at Mizzou’s camp.
“It shows their reach,” said Spain, “the diversity, the relationships that coach [Eliah Drinkwitz] and his staff have made since he’s been here. The outcome was good, the numbers were good, the level of play was up. It’s great.”
Spain spoke of how important this normal offseason has been, especially considering it’s his first as the Lions’ head coach.
“Whenever we can come out and get better as a team, as a whole, collectively, that’s a plus for us. You know, it allows us to be able to gel, to be able to get in those things that we were not able to get in last year due to COVID.”
Lee’s Summit tight end Max Whisner, the first commit of the 2022 class, made his second appearance in Columbia this month, the first at the “Night at the Zou” held in early June.
“I’m excited. I cannot wait to see what this class brings,” said Whisner, “and what coach Drinkwitz brings as well as the rest of the coaches and the new staff.”
Whisner credited tight ends coach Casey Woods and Drinkwitz as key factors in his commitment to the Tigers.
“What drove me to come down and be apart of Tiger Nation was coach Casey Woods and coach Eliah Drinkwitz… as soon as they offered me, they were like, ‘your guys’ class can be really special and can be one of the best that Mizzou has ever seen throughout their whole history.”
Whisner’s summer of football camps has been jam-packed with the Tigers’ seven-on-seven camp marking his fifth thus far.
“I’ve really tried to make an effort to come out here and show the coaches what I’m capable of, and to get to know Mizzou and Columbia.”
Cardinal Ritter’s safety Marvin Burks Jr. and wide receiver Fredrick Moore were also two big 2023 names at the camp, and Burks Jr. announced that received an offer from Mizzou after activities wrapped up. Troy Buchanan’s Jahkai Lang and St. Mary’s Chase Hendricks took the field as well on Thursday. De Smet’s tight end Mac Markway and cornerback Christian Gray also made visits to Mizzou and participated in the camp alongside teammate running back Allen Mitchell.
Other notable athletes included East St. Louis wide receiver Luther Burden – a blue chip prospect who Drinkwitz and his staff have heavily pursued lately – and cornerback Toriano Pride, a recent Clemson commit.
St. Mary’s wide receiver Kevin Coleman Jr., cornerback Deshawn Fuller, De Smet’s Kansas State commit safety Kaleb Purdy and Ball State commit defensive back Jordan Coleman represented even more St. Louis talent. Winnetonka wide receiver Jason Essex and Glendale linebacker Cooper Roy were also on the long list of talent at the camp.