Top Transfer Targets for Missouri Football to Consider in the Upcoming Window

The Transfer Portal: A Review of Missouri’s Prospects in 2024

The transfer portal: controversial, beneficial, harmful, irregular, beautiful, chaotic, rewarding, disappointing. All of these terms are tossed around during nearly every conversation about the portal. Since its inception in Fall 2018, the transfer portal has taken the college football world by storm. We’ve seen stars emerge from it, such as Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter, Texas’ Quinn Ewers, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., Oregon’s Bo Nix and Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman, to name a few.

However, the grass is also not always greener on the other side. College Football HQ analyzed the portal following the 2020-21 offseason, and the numbers were revealing. Only 54% of athletes in the portal successfully enrolled at another school, with 33% not being able to find a new home. But, with the number of portal entrants nearly doubling from 2020 to 2021 and continuing to grow in the years since, those numbers clearly did not deter anybody.

Mizzou has experienced its fair share of success in the transfer portal. Florida transfer Ty’Ron Hopper was a key addition to the 2022 class, as was DT Josh Landry (Baylor), DT Jayden Jernigan (OK St.) and S Joseph Charleston (Clemson).

Oh, and some guy named Cody Schrader transferred in during that offseason as well. In 2023, as the program continued to gain traction on the recruiting trail, Mizzou found even more success. Highly-touted receiver Theo Wease Jr. joined the Tigers from Oklahoma, as did defensive ends Nyles Gaddy (Jackson St.) and Austin Firestone (NW), safety Tre’Vez Johnson (Florida) and linebacker Sidney Williams (FSU). Cam’Ron Johnson (Houston) and Marcellus Johnson (EMU) joined the roster to bolster the offensive line depth as well.

With the transfer portal opening up on Dec. 4, it’s time for Eliah Drinkwitz and his coaching staff to window shop. The New Year’s Six caliber roster that Missouri fielded in 2023 is set to lose a handful of key contributors to the NFL, meaning that holes will open up on the depth chart. Therefore, I took an early look at what positions Drinkwitz and Co. will attempt to target in the portal, and which prospects may be a good fit in COMO.

Note: The ‘presumed returners’ in this do not account for the fact that any player on the roster is able to transfer. More than likely, a handful of those returners will not, in fact, return. A Missouri team without Cody Schrader will almost be unrecognizable.

Running Back

Presumed Departures: Cody Schrader, Nathaniel Peat
Presumed Returners: Tavorus Jones, Jamal Roberts

Schrader and his SEC-leading 1,499 rushing yards will leave the Tigers this year. His presence, both on the field and off of it, will be sorely missed. Peat has also exhausted his eligibility. Jones and Roberts are two promising young backs who have bided their time and appear set to take over for Schrader and Peat next season. However, they are inexperienced and unproven, and if there is anything to know about the SEC, it’s that you need more than one quality running back to survive. Thus, Drinkwitz may turn to the portal to reel in a more seasoned option that can provide a similar boost to the offense that Schrader did.

In terms of the type of tailback the staff will look for, I’d bet on running back coach Curtis Luper and Kirby Moore targeting players who are used to the stretch zone scheme and have the required vision and quickness to have success within that style.

Potential Targets:

Treshaun Ward | Graduate Student | Kansas State
Donald Chaney Jr. | Junior | Miami

Offensive Line

Presumed Departures: Javon Foster, Xavier Delgado, Marcellus Johnson
Presumed Returners: Armand Membou, Cam’Ron Johnson, Connor Tollison, Logan Reichert

Those aren’t all of the potential returners for Missouri’s offensive line, but they represent the four players who will start in all likelihood. The Tigers have anchors to build around in Membou and Tollison, and if Johnson can take a step forward in ‘24, then the O-line will have three reliable starters. Reichert has been tabbed as the next guy up on the line and has great promise, but everybody’s first year of starting up front in the SEC is up-and-down. Depth up front will be a question mark, as will leadership. Foster and Delgado were synonymous with the O-line for years and were lead voices in the locker room. Can Tollison and Membou fill that void, and will some other player enter the fold from the transfer portal to add needed experience?

With the versatility of Membou, only the center and right guard positions appear to be set in stone for Mizzou next year. Thus, every option is available and will be welcomed with open arms.

Potential Targets:

Marcus Hicks | Graduate Student | Oklahoma
Kahlil Benson | Senior | Indiana

Defensive Line

Presumed Departures: Darius Robinson, Realus George Jr., Kristian Williams, Josh Landry, Jayden Jernigan
Presumed Returners: Johnny Walker Jr., Nyles Gaddy, Austin Firestone, Joe Moore

I cheated a bit and grouped these position groups together, but they both needed the help. The turnover on the defensive line this offseason will be immense. The loss of Robinson not only takes away plenty of production but also means this team loses a major leader in the locker room. Then, in all likelihood, the entire four-deep at the defensive tackle spot will be gone. Kristian Williams still has a year of eligibility remaining, and it’s 50/50 on whether he will return or not at this point. If he does, then that’s a veteran presence who can spearhead a group of newbies. If not, the block-eaters in the middle have been unsung heroes on this team for two years now, and their absence will be felt heavily.

Walker Jr. will return and lock down one of the defensive end spots. He’s someone you can build around. Gaddy is poised to take over the other spot, with Moore and Firestone backing them up. However, more quality depth could certainly be added. At defensive tackle, the names are unproven and inexperienced. Williams Nwaneri will arrive with his 5-star billing and figures to make an instant impact, but relying on a freshman to spearhead the middle would be tough sledding. Thus, Drinkwitz and this staff will likely search for at least one experienced interior lineman to bolster the new-look rotation.

Potential Targets:

Jahfari Harvey |…


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