As the Missouri Tigers prepare to play Arkansas in their last home game of the 2018 season, they are faced with a serious future need at quarterback.
Tigers’ quarterback Drew Lock will play two more games for Mizzou before he graduates and likely moves on to the NFL, so the Tigers have an imminent need at the position. Currently, Missouri has four quarterbacks on its roster that could succeed Lock, and the Tigers have a potential successor in four-star Archbishop Alter (Dayton, OH) commit Connor Bazelak.
While Bazelak could be the future answer to Missouri’s impending need at the position, the Tigers undoubtedly have a need to fill for at least one season, while allowing Bazelak, or whomever the Tigers may deem the heir apparent, time to acclimate and learn Missouri’s system.
Somewhere out there, Missouri’s short-term answer to a long-term need awaits. A realistic, albeit seemingly far-reaching possibility is former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant.
While with Clemson, Bryant was named the Tigers’ starting quarterback, until head coach Dabo Swinney made a last second audible, and named five-star 2018 signee Trevor Lawrence the Tigers’ starting quarterback.
As a result of what Bryant termed “a slap in the face,” the slighted quarterback met with Swinney and requested permission to transfer from Clemson. Since that time, Bryant has made official visits to Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi State, and North Carolina.
Recently, Bryant was scheduled for an official visit at Miami, but has since changed his plans. Many figured Bryant had decided to complete his transfer to Arkansas, given his relationship with head coach Chad Morris, formerly Clemson’s offensive coordinator.
Surprisingly – or not surprisingly, Bryant canceled his visit at Miami in favor of using his last official visit at Auburn. Clearly, Bryant is favoring more opportunities in the SEC than the ACC.
While most probably feel that given the conference “significance” of programs like Auburn, Mississippi State, and Arkansas, and given Bryant’s past with Morris, that Missouri is probably a mere blip on the radar, at this point. While that may be true, there was still something about Mizzou that beckoned Bryant to spend an official visit.
Another major factor playing in Missouri’s favor is the Tigers’ instant need at quarterback once the offseason arrives. If Bryant decides to call CoMo home next year, he will likely be guaranteed the starting job. In addition, the Tigers return a fairly loaded, “turnkey” offense for any quarterback ready to take the lead.