ST. LOUIS (KTVI)–He only entered the transfer portal late last week, but don’t expect De Smet Jesuit grad Mekhi Wingo to be there much longer. The now-former University of Missouri defensive lineman tells FOX2 he has already has a final four list of schools, as he hopes to enroll in time for the spring semester so he can be part of spring practices.
Former Missouri Head Coach Barry Odom is entering his third season as defensive coordinator with the Hogs. Odom tried to get Wingo straight out of high school with an Arkansas offer before Wingo ultimately signed with Eli Drinkwitz in 2021. Several players from Missouri’s recent defenses have either followed Odom to Arkansas or ended up there indirectly, including Markell Utsey and Tre Williams.
This may have been the most predictable offer once Wingo’s name hit the portal, since his high school head coach Robert Steeples was named as a defensive assistant to new head coach Brian Kelly late last month. Wingo told FOX2 at the time he decided to transfer that his relationship with Steeples wasn’t going to be a deal-cincher necessarily. “I’m very happy for Coach Steeples. He’s worked his whole life to get to this situation. Back in high school his big thing was he always wanted to be a position coach in college one day, so I’m happy for him. I guess if they come around that would be cool but it won’t affect my decision,” Wingo said last week.
Lincoln Riley’s new staff in Los Angeles boasts plenty of familiarity with Missouri, as his new defensive coordinator with the Trojans is former MU assistant Alex Grinch. Also on staff for USC is Brian Odom, another carryover from Riley’s former OU staff.
The new staff in charge of the Sooners wants him too. New head coach Brent Venables cut his coaching teeth in the former Big 8 and Big 12 at Kansas State and Oklahoma before his long stay at Clemson.