After weeks of speculation, the Missouri Tigers beat out a number of other schools for the services of transfer Kelly Bryant .
Bryant arrives at Mizzou after leaving the Clemson Tigers when he lost the starting job to freshmen phenom Trevor Lawrence . Bryant started every game for Clemson in the 2017 season, leading the Tigers to an undefeated regular season and a No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff before losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide . That season, Bryant went 262-for-398 (65.8 completion percentage) for 2,802 yards and 13 touchdowns against eight interceptions. He also ran the ball 192 times for 665 yards and had 10 touchdowns on the ground.
This year Bryant played in four games before announcing his decision to transfer. He went 35-for-53 (66 completion percentage) for 456 yards, two touchdowns and a pick, while adding 144 yards on the ground
Mizzou returns most of it’s running attack next year in Larry Rountree III, Damarea Crockett and Tyler Badie, and while they lose Emanuel Hall in the passing game, their next top four receivers return. Bryant is not the same level of thrower as Drew Lock and it will be up to Derek Dooley to find a system that works for the QB.
It cannot be overstated how big of a win this is for Barry Odom, a coach that has been much maligned by Missouri fans. Lock has been the starter for the last three and half seasons and with his upcoming graduation, Missouri was in a tough spot at quarterback. The options were current back-ups Taylor Powell and Micah Wilson or incoming freshmen Connor Bazelak. Bryant gives Mizzou a proven signal caller for the Tigers going into 2019. It also means Odom beat out the Auburn Tigers and Arkansas Razorbacks for the quarterback.
Arkansas was a popular pick due to Chad Morris being Bryant’s coordinator at Clemson. Auburn was, for many, the favorite due to their stature as a program and Gus Malzahn’s almost innate ability to make successful seasons dealing with dual-threat transfer QBs.
Looking at Mizzou’s schedule for 2019, there is ample opportunity to make some noise in the SEC East and nationally, as it is not nearly as treacherous as the 2018 schedule, as their rotating SEC West game switches from at Alabama to theOle Miss Rebels at home.
It will be up to Odom and his staff to make the most out of the one year they will get out of Kelly Bryant. But one thing Mizzou fans do not have to worry about for next year is the quarterback position.