With the trajectory of Missouri football at an impasse this past winter, the news that former Clemson QB Kelly Bryant would spend his last season in Columbia was music to the ears of Mizzou nation.
Despite the potential for an outrageous and irresponsible post-season ban levied by the NCAA, Bryant and the rest of the Missouri football roster decided to stay the course, ban together and play out the season.
Bryant was infamously benched for Trevor Lawrence during the 2018 season after leading Clemson to a 4-0 start. He knew he needed to get somewhere where he could showcase his abilities on a national level in hopes of realizing his NFL dream.
Kelly Bryant picked Mizzou on December 8th over a number of worthwhile suitors like Arkansas and Auburn. It was a surprise to many that cover recruiting, but Bryant felt a special connection with Mizzou.
“It’s simple- The people here I feel are going to support me on and off the field.” Bryant stated in an exclusive interview with GASN Sports following the Missouri football spring game. “It’s a perfect fit. Just having the fan (support) and teammates having a good mindset trying to get the job done the right way.”
Not only will Bryant’s unique skill set help transition Missouri out of the prolific Drew Lock era this fall, but the fact that he has embraced being at Mizzou could be having a much larger effect in the long-term. The Tigers hauled in seven commitments in the month of June alone including Rivals.com 4-star linebacker Antonio Doyle.
The momentum is certainly tangible around the program right now following an 8-win season, improved recruiting and a quarterback in the fold that is garnishing lots of national attention for Mizzou. Many publications have the Tigers ranked in their pre-season top 25 polls and it’s likely that many of these recruits see the school in a more attractive light after Bryant’s celebrated signing.
As the recruiting class continues to take shape and Missouri awaits its NCAA fate (which should be wrapped up early this Fall), there is certainly a lot of pressure for 2019 on-field success. Kelly Bryant’s dual-threat capabilities coupled with one of the best backfields in the SEC should make Mizzou a real threat in the SEC East.
“We have a good group of veteran guys.” Bryant said. “you get the ball to these guys and they make plays, makes things easy for you.”
The schedule sets up favorably as Mizzou will play five consecutive home games from September 7th- October 12th. They will also have the added benefit of playing only three true conference road games as the black friday “Battle Line” game with Arkansas has been moved to Little Rock.
You can see the real potential for Barry Odom’s Tigers to take yet another step this season with Bryant at the helm. Without Bryant, a lot of this momentum may be null and void as the program could have been looking at a transition year with an unseasoned quarterback.