ESPN college football writer Edward Aschoff put together a detailed article Tuesday about Kelly Bryant’s decision to come to Missouri, and how Mizzou football became the top choice for the former Clemson Tiger.
By now, most people have heard it. Kelly Bryant left Clemson with a year of eligibility because of a new rule, and he chose Missouri over North Carolina and a trio of SEC schools because he felt the school gave him the best shot at going to the next level.
Edward Aschoff writes what led to that decision in his article Inside Kelly Bryant’s journey from Clemson to Missouri. And he said it came down to a film session with offensive coordinator Derek Dooley.
"While staffers, coaches and players were trying to roll out the proverbial red carpet for college football’s biggest free agent at the time, it was a film session with offensive coordinator Derek Dooley that helped to completely change Bryant’s preconceived — and mostly dismissive — notions about Mizzou.Even with the Tigers limping away from a dud of a 15-14 loss to Kentucky — an Oct. 27 game in which Mizzou’s offense spent most of its time going in reverse — Bryant said he “saw all I needed to see” from the Tigers, and the more he talked to Dooley during that detailed film session, the more he was drawn to the program."
The article mentions how Dooley and Bryant share the same feeling of humbleness and disappointment, and how a connection was felt between the two.
What’s really interesting is why Bryant chose to play for the black and gold Tigers — because he wanted another challenge.
“That would be the easy route to go (to a school with a familiar offense),” Bryant is quoted saying in the article. “I just wanted to challenge myself and learn a whole new offense.
“Where I want to be (the NFL), I’m going to have to do it anyway, so why not go about getting a head start as quickly as possible?”
Aschoff spoke with Dooley, coach Barry Odom and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam for the piece. It goes on to talk about spring practices, the day Missouri was hit was an NCAA postseason ban (which still in under appeal) and the decision Dabo Swinney had to make in benching Bryant last year.
It will be an interesting year for Bryant and Mizzou. It’s one that could lead to Bryant and the Tigers getting everything they wanted, or a postseason ban could keep the Tigers running short of their ultimate goal without any control.
But Bryant isn’t worried about that, Aschoff writes.
"Bryant would love to play for a national championship, but he jokes that he’d be perfectly fine with 12-0 … or the Heisman. He doesn’t have time to worry about things he can’t control because he has a new team to lead and a new offense to master."