Lee’s Summit North graduate Da’Ron Davis was among several high-profile absences as Missouri football opened training camp Tuesday morning on the Kadlec Athletic Fields.
Davis, a speedy wide receiver who also played at Hogan Prep during his high school career, failed to qualify academically and is expected enroll at junior college, Tigers coach Barry Odom said.
“Academically, he didn’t meet his requirements to be NCAA eligible, so we’re working with him on trying to find the right fit and then get him back here as quickly as possible,” Odom said. “We’re very disappointed, as he is and his family, on coming up short there, but we’ve got a great plan on getting him back and will continue to stay in close contact through the next few months.”
Odom also announced that another Mizzou freshman wide receiver, O’shae Clark, had been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.
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“We’re working through that,” Odom said.
Eastern Arizona College defensive tackles Walter Palmore and Malik Young also were among those not present for the first day of training camp.
Palmore was expected to arrive later Tuesday afternoon, while Odom said Young is “waiting on the clearinghouse with a test score” but is hopeful he’ll be eligible to join the team soon.
“Hopefully, (Palmore) will be out here tomorrow, if everything goes right with the travel,” Odom said. “… Both those guys, if we get them in and get them trained, they can help us out up front. No question.”
Palmore is on the way to Columbia, a team spokesman said Tuesday, but Young’s arrival has been delayed as the team awaits an NCAA waiver.
Suspended junior defensive end Nate Howard wasn’t on the field either and, like Young, also wasn’t on the Tigers’ roster as training-camp opened.
Howard was suspended indefinitely after his June 14 arrest by University of Missouri police for alleged possession of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms.
The latter is a Class D felony under Missouri law, but Howard is due in court Wednesday morning for a misdemeanor case review as attorneys work toward a plea agreement.
For now, “nothing’s changed with that,” Odom said.
Finally, junior defensive tackle Rashad Brandon — a junior-college transfer, who starred in the spring game — was at practice, but also didn’t participate.
“We got notification when they go through all the final paperwork that there was something working on with the clearinghouse,” Odom said. “We’re just waiting on that call. We don’t expect it to be anything that will hold him out for any length of time.”
Sophomore safety Ronnell Perkins (hamstring) and freshman offensive lineman Pompey Coleman (leg) did not participate in the opening day of camp due to injury.
Perkins is day-to-day, but Coleman, who suffered a broken leg in late August last year as a senior at Ben Davis High in Indianapolis, underwent a second surgery on the leg and will “be out for some time,” Odom said.
Junior linebacker Brandon Lee was a limited participant with a hamstring injury.
The news wasn’t all bad on the injury front.
Senior defensive end Marcell Frazier, who missed the end of spring practice with a broken forearm, and junior tight end Kendall Blanton, who missed spring after ankle surgery, were full participants.
The two defensive tackles who suffered season-ending ACL injuries last season — junior Terry Beckner Jr. and sophomore Markell Utsey — were back at practice, working with the first string during the open portion media was allowed to watch.