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Since taking the reins in December 2019, Missouri football coach Eliah Drinkwitz has emphasized recruiting from within the state.

The Tigers have seen some early returns on the approach, notably landing two of the top St. Louis-area players from the 2021 class in Mekhi Wingo and Travion Ford.

After Friday evening, Missouri’s 2022 class appears to be heading in a similar direction.

Marquis Gracial, a four-star defensive lineman from St. Charles, committed to Missouri, announcing his decision in front of a crowd in the gym of St. Charles High School. Gracial chose Missouri over Alabama, Oregon, Iowa State and Arizona State.

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound tackle is the eighth member of the Tigers’ 2022 recruiting class and the sixth from Missouri. He’s the No. 5 prospect in the state, and 247Sports’ composite rankings have him as the 16th-best defensive tackle in the country.

A crowded interior defensive line situation at Missouri could be somewhat thinner by the time Gracial arrives on campus. Prospective starters Kobie Whiteside and Akial Byers each have just one year of eligibility remaining, opening up the possibility for Gracial to see action as a freshman.

This article originally ran on columbiamissourian.com.

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