HOOVER, Ala. (KMIZ)
The Mizzou football contingent took its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday.
Head coach Eli Drinkwitz was joined by defensive lineman Akial Byers and offensive lineman Case Cook.
It was a full circle moment for Coach Drinkwitz on Thursday. In 2006, he said he took his high school football team to a 7-on-7 tournament in Hoover, Alab. He remembers eating lunch at the Riverchase Galleria while SEC Media Days was underway.
"To think that 15 years later I'm here as the head coach of an SEC program - you don’t take that for granted," Drinkwitz said. "You don’t know what opportunities are going to come and go in life."
Drinkwitz spent a lot of his day answering questions about COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming season. He said 95% of his staff is fully vaccinated. He added he hopes to have at least 85% of his players fully vaccinated by the beginning of Fall Camp in early August. According to the SEC's current COVID-19 guidelines, teams with an 85% vaccination rate no longer have to get tested for the virus. They also don't have to wear masks indoors.
Drinkwitz also spoke about his efforts to re-energize the fanbase. This summer, he's spent a lot of time traveling the state to promote his team.
"It’s our state, right, and you’ve got to embrace all of it," Drinkwitz said. "I’ve talked about the spirit of Mizzou is not just Kansas City and St. Louis, it’s rural Missouri also and being able to identify with all kinds of people and say 'hey, we need all of your support.'"
You can watch our full interview with Coach Drinkwitz in the video player below.
You can watch our full interviews with Case Cook and Akial Byers in the video players below.