Spring camp opens this week in Columbia with Year 2 of the Eli Drinkwitz era beginning with clearly defined goals.

After missing out on a complete spring camp this time last year due to COVID, Missouri’s upcoming camp will be critical for the continued growth of the program following the team’s 5-5 record in Drinkwitz’s debut season.

During his first press conference of the spring, Drinkwitz outlined what he would like to see accomplished from his team in order for the program to achieve new levels of success, which begins with player development.

“We have three distinct goals for our spring football practice, number one is individual player development,” Drinkwitz said. “Again, our goal is for each and every single player on our team to develop this spring. To take them from where they’re at, to get them to a different place as a player and as a person, fundamentally and technique.

“We want to continue to increase their ability and knowledge and we learned last year, everybody’s going to have to contribute to our football team success and so spring is about them, developing.”

Now with Missouri under new leadership on the defensive side of the ball — following Ryan Walter’s departure and the hire of former NFL coach Steve Wilks — Drinkwitz is eager to see the beginning of the installation process on that side of the ball.

“Number two, we’re going to lay the foundation of our offense, defense and special teams – and we’re not going to skip any steps,” the Missouri coach continued. “We’re starting at the beginning with, although offense and special teams have a little bit of a leg up on the defense, but going back to the basics because we didn’t get to do this last year, and look forward to starting at the groundwork and building up. Excited for Coach Wilkes to be able to do that with his defense.”

Finally, the chemistry and leadership of the 2021 Tigers will start to be formed in the weeks ahead.

That part of camp seems to interest Mizzou’s coach the most.

“And then third, probably the most important, is continue to work on team chemistry and camaraderie,” Drinkwitz added. “We really need to develop leaders on our team but develop that team chemistry so we’re playing for each other. Playing for the man next to us on the football field and develop that camaraderie in the trenches and on the football field. So we got a lot to accomplish we got a lot to work on.”