The momentum for Eli Drinkwitz’s second season in Missouri continues to build as starter center Michael Maietti has just announced he will return to Columbia next season.

Maietti has played just one season with the Tigers after transferring in as a graduate from Rutgers during the previous offseason. Maietti has started every game at center dating back to the 2017 season with Rutgers.

Despite being a senior last season, Maietti is eligible to return in 2021 due to the NCAA giving all players a free season of eligibility in 2020. Maietti joins receiver Keke Chism and punter Grant McKinniss as players set to take advantage of this rule.

These players won’t count against Missouri’s scholarship limits, which is particularly important for the Tigers as the program is still dealing with scholarship restrictions dating back to the tutor scandal.

“After spending a lot of time praying and discussing with my family, I have decided to return to Mizzou for the 2021 season. I have had the privilege of starting 43 straight games in my career and I’m excited for my 44th to be in the Black and Gold! I can’t wait to get back to work,” Maietti posted on Tuesday.

Following this news, Missouri is set to return its entire starting offensive line in 2021.