Meet Mizzou football's Class of 2021 signees

Eric Blum
Columbia Daily Tribune
Lutheran North's Travion Ford makes a tackle against Ava during the Class 2 state championship game Dec. 6, 2019, at Faurot Field. Ford has signed with Missouri.

Missouri football has added 25 players to its roster since the start of the national signing period Dec. 16, with its Class of 2021 further finalized Wednesday.

A heavy majority of the class inked back in December, but Tigers head coach Eli Drinkwitz hasn't been shy about addressing the program's needs, either through the transfer portal or prep and junior college ranks.

Here are capsules on the future Tigers who've signed:

RB Taj Butts (5-11, 205)

De Smet (St. Louis)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 43 running back

Commit date: April 25

Twitter handle: @TajButts

The final word: Sports Illustrated All-American calls Butts "an elusive, powerful back perfectly suited for Missouri’s zone-rushing attack." He was officially offered by the Tigers three days before committing. 

De Smet's Taj Butts runs with the ball against Joplin during the Class 6 state championship Nov. 30, 2019, at Faurot Field.

CB Daylan Carnell (6-2, 195)

Ben Davis (Indianapolis)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 34 cornerback

Commit date: June 1

Twitter handle: @Daylan5_

The final word: “He has an extremely high football IQ and he is a passionate, driven player that will excel in an environment where he is challenged every day," Ben Davis head coach Jason Simmons told 247Sports in June of Carnell. Carnell took an in-person visit to Columbia before the coronavirus pandemic.

DE Travion Ford (6-4, 232)

Lutheran North (St. Louis)

247 Composite: 4-star, No. 15 weakside defensive end

Commit date: April 30

Twitter handle: @Tre_Got_Skills

The final word: 247Sports' Allen Trieu predicts Ford's "ability to rush the passer makes him a player we think will be productive" at a Power Five conference school and that he has a chance to play beyond college. Ford is Missouri's highest-rated commit of the 2021 class. 

DT Realus George Jr. (6-2, 295)

Independence CC (Independence, Kansas)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 11 junior-college defensive tackle

Commit date: Nov. 20

Twitter handle: @RealusGeorge2

The final word: George originally is from Atlanta and was committed to Old Dominion before switching to Missouri. Independence Community College is the school featured Netflix's "Last Chance U" from 2018-19. 

RB BJ Harris (5-10, 193)

McCallie School (Chattanooga, Tennessee)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 47 running back

Commit date: June 25

Twitter handle: @KiingHarris0

The final word: Harris committed to the Tigers over offers from Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and others. Harris was a finalist for Tennessee's Mr. Football Award. 

S Tyler Hibbler (6-2, 198)

Trinity Catholic (St. Louis)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 61 safety

Commit date: June 23

Twitter handle: @t_hibb2x

The final word: 247Sports' Allen Trieu said Hibbler "plays hard and is well-schooled, and all that put together should make him a reliable starter" at a Power Five conference program. Hibbler chose the Tigers over being personally recruited by former MU head coach Barry Odom, now Arkansas' defensive coordinator, as well as offers from Michigan State, Nebraska and others. 

TE Ryan Hoerstkamp (6-4, 225)

Washington (Washington)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 52 tight end

Commit date: April 25

Twitter handle: @RyanHoerstkamp

The final word: "The reason I chose Mizzou is I just feel like it's home, getting the chance to play in front of all my family. Coach (Eli) Drinkwitz is a great coach. I chose him over (Alabama head) coach (Nick) Saban. That's how much I believe in the guy," Hoerstkamp told the Tribune in November. 

Washington's Ryan Hoerstkamp (84) closes in on Battle's Khaleel Dampier during the Class 5 District 4 championship game Nov. 13 at Washington High School.

CB Darius Jackson (6-1, 175)

Red Oak (Red Oak, Texas)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 94 cornerback

Commit date: May 2

Twitter handle: @DariusDJJackson

The final word: Jackson was a two-sport athlete in high school, also competing in track and field. Jackson originally was offered by the Tigers in November 2019. 

DE Jon Jones (6-4, 230)

McKinney (McKinney, Texas)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 57 strongside defensive end

Commit date: July 11

Twitter handle: @They_callmejon

The final word: Jones had a final-five list of Missouri, Baylor, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas. McKinney's high school football stadium is the host of the Division II national championship.

WR Dominic Lovett (5-10, 175)

East St. Louis (East St. Louis, Illinois)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 65 wide receiver

Commit date: Dec. 11

Twitter handle: @DominicLovett2

The final word: 247Sports' Allen Trieu said Lovett "shows good ball tracking skills and ability to adjust to deep balls in the air." Lovett originally committed to Arizona State in September before flipping to Missouri last week. 

ILB Zachary Lovett (6-2, 210)

Rockledge (Rockledge, Florida)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 37 inside linebacker

Commit date: June 19

Twitter handle: @zacharylovett10

The final word: Lovett took unofficial visits to Florida State and Georgia Tech before the coronavirus pandemic. He also had offers from Miami (Fla.), Purdue and Mississippi State. 

QB Tyler Macon (6-0, 200)

East St. Louis (East St. Louis, Illinois)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 15 dual-threat quarterback

Commit date: March 13

Twitter handle: @EstlMaco5

The final word: 247Sports' Allen Trieu said Macon's "size may not be the prototype of a high-end pro prospect, but (he) has too many intangibles to think he will not help a college team." Macon was recognized as one of the Elite 11 quarterbacks for the Class of 2021.

TE Gavin McKay (6-4, 215)

Memphis University School (Memphis, Tennessee)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 55 tight end

Commit date: Jan. 30

Twitter handle: @gavinmckay02

The final word: McKay picked up 10 FBS offers, including from Indiana, Kansas and Memphis, according to 247Sports.

DE Kyran Montgomery (6-4, 215)

Pike (Indianapolis)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 30 weakside defensive end

Commit date: Sept. 5

Twitter handle: @KyranMontgomer2

The final word: Sports Illustrated All-American says "Montgomery is a productive edge presence with great technique and ability to set an edge. His motor, length and upper-body strength could lead to an inside role provided he adds much-needed weight to his lower half."

CB Jadarrius Perkins (6-2, 185)

Mississippi Gulf Coast CC (Perkinston, Mississippi)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 5 overall junior college recruit

Commit date: Jan. 27

Twitter handle: @JDKNOWS2100

The final word: Perkins already is in Columbia and enrolled in classes, per Missouri's online student directory. Perkins held 36 FBS offers, per the 247Sports Composite, and originally committed to Oregon last May. He decommitted from the Ducks in early December, but listed Oregon, Missouri, Mississippi State and Oklahoma among his new final four Dec. 21. He'll bring immediate depth and maturity to a position that started two true freshmen to end 2020.

CB Zxaequan Reeves (6-2, 180)

Cocoa (Cocoa, Florida)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 112 cornerback

Commit date: June 5

Twitter handle: @zxaequanreeves4

The final word: Reeves committed to the Tigers the same day he was offered a scholarship. Only two Power Five conference schools offered Reeves, with the other being Pittsburgh, according to 247 Sports.

DE Daniel Robledo (6-5, 280)

East Los Angeles College (Monterey Park, California)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 3 junior-college weakside defensive end

Commit date: July 13

Twitter handle: @DanielERobledo5

The final word: Robledo is a Tucson, Arizona, native and was offered by Maryland, Mississippi, Arizona and other schools. 

CB Davion Sistrunk (6-2, 170)

Eau Gallie (Melbourne, Florida)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 57 cornerback

Commit date: May 13

Twitter handle: @DavionSistrunk

The final word: Sistrunk was a three-sport athlete, also competing in basketball and track and field in high school. He averaged 18.8 points per game as well as 3.3 rebounds during his junior basketball season, per 247 Sports.

OT Connor Tollison (6-5, 300)

Jackson (Jackson)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 31 offensive tackle

Commit date: March 8

Twitter handle: @TollisonConnor

The final word: "It was the coaches more than anything. Sometimes, that's hard to buy in at a program that hasn't had a lot of success. I felt like the coaches (at Missouri) could really turn it around, and what they've done in other places I think really signifies how good they are," Tollison told the Tribune in October.

Jackson offensive lineman Connor Tollison (71) blocks during an extra-point attempt against Hickman on Oct. 23, 2020, at Hickman High School.

DE Arden Walker (6-4, 240)

Cherry Creek (Englewood, Colorado)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 42 strongside defensive end

Commit date: Dec. 16

Twitter handle: @walker_arden

The final word: A Missouri pickup on national signing day who had narrowed to a final three that included UCLA and Colorado. Walker was also pursued hard by Texas.

ILB Dameon Wilson (6-1, 210)

Kings Mountain (Kings Mountain, North Carolina)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 23 inside linebacker

Commit date: June 21

Twitter handle: @DameonWilson10

The final word: 247Sports' Charles Power said Wilson is "much more comfortable as a downhill run defender at this point and will need to continue improving his coverage skills and ability to play in space." Wilson had 19 FBS offers, per 247Sports. 

DT Mekhi Wingo (6-0, 280)

De Smet (St. Louis)

247 Composite: 3-star, No. 57 defensive tackle

Commit date: Jan. 19

Twitter handle: @WingoMekhi

The final word: “When I first went down there, everything was amazing and everything was perfect,” Wingo told the Tribune in July. “All the coaches seemed like some cool dudes and the new facilities, just going around looking at everything, it just all felt perfect to me, and I committed the next day after I left. And I had no plans of committing that early at all.”

FBS transfers

LB Blaze Alldredge (6-2, 210)

Transferred from: Rice

High School: Celebration (Kissimmee, Florida)

Commit date: Jan. 18

Twitter handle: @blazeachille

The final word: Alldredge recorded 214 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, six sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble in 30 career games with the Owls. He was also a team captain in 2020. Alldredge should have two years of eligibility remaining per NCAA relief despite being a graduate transfer.

WR Mookie Cooper (5-9, 190)

Transferred from: Ohio State

High School: Trinity Catholic (St. Louis)

Commit date: Jan. 5

Twitter handle: @mcgetbusy1

The final word: According to the 247Sports Composite, Cooper was the No. 93 prospect in the Class of 2020, the 16th-highest-rated wide receiver and the fourth-best player in Missouri. He played in one game for the Buckeyes and didn't record a statistic. Per 247's Allen Trieu, Cooper "has the necessary profile to be an instant impact guy in college and an early to mid-round draft choice."

OG EJ Ndoma-Ogar (6-3, 325)

Transferred from: Oklahoma

High School: Allen (Allen, Texas)

Commit date: Nov. 6

Twitter handle: @IHOP_75

The final word: Out of high school, 247Sports' Charles Power said Ndoma-Ogar "excels as a run blocker in close quarters. Has strong hands and gets a push once engaged with defenders. Plays with a high effort level and finishes blocks with authority." Ndoma-Ogar was high school and college teammates with Kyler Murray.

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