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E Michigan Missouri Football

Missouri football coach Barry Odom. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Francis Howell offensive lineman Drake Heismeyer took a tour around the country earlier this winter to see a handful of top college programs. With each stop, from Alabama to Michigan to Tennessee to Ole Miss, he sized up each experience against the only Division I program in his state.

“I really compared everything to Mizzou because they were my No. 1,” he said Monday. “Everyone’s got good facilities. You can get a good education almost anywhere. What was important for me was relationships. I’m a big relationship guy. You know how us O-linemen are. I have a bunch of friends, but my best friends are my O-linemen.”

After taking another visit to Columbia on Saturday, Heismeyer made his choice official, announcing his verbal commitment to Mizzou. Heismery, a three-star lineman and All-Metro selection for the 2018 season, became MU’s second commitment for 2020 and second from the St. Louis area.

“I really pulled the trigger because I’ve always known since Mizzou offered me that I  really, really liked them,” he said. “Coach (Barry) Odom and Coach (Brad) Davis truly care about their players. They way the recruited me, they did it right. They talked to me but didn’t pressure me to do anything serious. I didn’t want to waste anyone else’s time. I didn’t want to waste their time. I knew I was going to go there.

“It’s important for me to play in my home state and play in front of friends and family. Coming from Francis Howell I know a lot of people who are going to Mizzou or are big Mizzou fans. I want to play for them and get a good degree. And playing in the SEC is the best that it gets.”

As the biggest lineman on his teams at Francis Howell, Heismeyer has always played offensive tackle but said he’ll move to center at Missouri. Listed last season at 6-4, 295 pounds, he played center up until seventh grade but has since trained at the position knowing that it was his likely position in college.

“It’s not like I’m 6-8,” he said. “But I’ll play anywhere they want me to play as long as I’m playing.”

Heismeyer, rated the nation's No. 30 offensive guard for 2020 and the state's No. 16 player by, also holds offers from Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State, Michigan State and Purdue.

Last fall, Chaminade quarterback/punter Brady Cook became the first 2020 recruit to commit to Mizzou. Recruits can first sign a national letter of intent during the early signing period, starting Dec. 18.

Heismeyer's commitment continues Mizzou's recent recruiting uptick in the St. Louis area. The Tigers signed five St. Louis players in the 2019 class, including Parkway North teammates Jalani Williams and C.J. Boone who have already enrolled and joined the program. 

Dave Matter is the Mizzou beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.