Skip to main content

By Cody Thorn

Earlier this month, Armand Membou made the trek from Lee’s Summit to Columbia to start his career as a Missouri Tiger. The Lee’s Summit North standout has enrolled early to get a head start as he prepares for his first collegiate spring practice.

He will work closely with offensive line coach Marcus Johnson to get accustomed to Division I football. 

“It’ll be weird; high school football is all I’ve known,” said Membou, one of a handful of early signees for Tigers head coach Eli Drinkwitz. 

Membou was only a two-year starter for the Broncos but his impact on the field — not only in stature — was noticeable. That led to the right tackle being named the SBLive Missouri Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-4, 312-pounder had plenty of offers to sift through when it came time to pick a college program, with Big 12 schools Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State; Iowa and Nebraska from the Big Ten; Pac-12 school Oregon; and Arkansas being another SEC school to offer a scholarship.

That showcased the meteoric rise of Membou, who played soccer and rec league basketball until he took up football in eighth grade. His biggest change was between his sophomore and junior year.

“[Lee’s Summit North coach Jamar Mozee] told me I had a chance to go to varsity,” Membou said. “In my head, I said, ‘I have to work.’ I wanted this, so I started working out, going to the gym and lifting on my own and eating right. At the same time, I started to grow the spring of my sophomore year. That combination helped me progress my junior year.”

Membou grew three inches that spring and went from 230 pounds to 275 pounds. That growth helped propel him to be a two-year starter for Lee’s Summit North, a Class 6 semifinalist this fall.

“A lot of things are just natural, God-given gifts,” Mozee said of Membou. “The weight room, working out and training. That continued to help his body progress. He is a guy with a lot of natural gifts, the ability to bend and his flexibility — he can run, he can jump, he is explosive. He is very, very strong. He has all of those intangibles.”

The dominance of Membou, coupled with the play of fellow tackle Cayden Green, a junior, gave the Broncos future Division I players on each end that provided time for quarterback Tre Baker to pass and running backs Quincey Baker and Tanner Howe room to run.

“You get lucky to get two guys of that caliber at the same time on the same team — that is amazing,” Mozee said of Green and Membou. “It is definitely the best offensive line I’ve ever had and I been around at the high school level. It is phenomenal the level and how dominated they were during the football season.”

Membou didn’t allow a sack all season.

“He dominated everybody; no one across from him did anything at all,” said Mozee, who signed with Oklahoma out of Blue Springs High School, where he starred at running back. “There are kids in the area getting different accolades. I’m not sure he’s not the best football player in the metro. We were watching film and his O-line coach, Coach Johnson at Missouri ... he said it wasn’t fair (watching him block).

“I think he will be great, and I think he definitely plays and he gets on the field. I think he helps them. It is hard to predict how dominant at that level he will be, but he will be a factor and he will help them win football games.”