Former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant transferred his final season of eligibility to play for the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday.
Missouri fans have waited for what felt like an eternity, while former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant exhausted his five official visits to North Carolina, Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Missouri over the last couple of months.
As usual, the waiting is the hardest part, but for what seemed like a first in a long time, Tigers fans didn’t receive the seemingly typical spurn they were expecting, as Bryant decided he would play his final year of eligibility for Mizzou.
For obvious reasons, the wait was exciting. Looking back on interactions I’d had with fans of opposing teams, it feels good to know that, for once, something went right during a high-profile recruit’s visit.
To begin, Tigers fans supposedly chanted at someone other than Bryant. Of course, the source was a hybrid-parody account of PowerMizzou.com’s Gabe DeArmond and St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter.
Whether that happened wasn’t as bad as seeing the Tigers allow a win to slip from their grasp against Kentucky, while Bryant was present. However, following that loss, head coach Barry Odom once again rallied his team to a 4-0 finish of the season, and an 8-4 record, leading to an appearance in the Liberty Bowl.
Out of the programs Bryant visited, I believed Missouri’s was best-suited for his skill set and allowed him the best opportunity to perform well.
First, Missouri has a number of offensive linemen returning next year. This year, the o-line allowed 13 sacks, which is a ridiculous average of 1.08 per game. It also allowed quarterback Drew Lock to make 25 touchdown passes, while the running game scored 26 times.
Also playing to Mizzou’s favor is the return of running backs Tyler Badie, Larry Rountree, and probable return of Damarea Crockett. Even if Crockett opts out of his senior year, the Tigers will still have weapons on the ground, including Bryant.
Mizzou also has talented receivers in big-bodied tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, Jalen Knox, Johnathon Johnson, Dominic Gicinto, and latest newcomer and graduate transfer, Jonathan Nance.
Already, the 2019 season has many of us excited. The last couple of days Missouri has shown the media and the fanbase a little more stability too, as Odom also received a contract extension through the 2024 season.