Freshman wide receiver O’shae Clark’s Missouri career has finished before it really started.
Clark, who second-year coach Barry Odom announced Tuesday was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules, will transfer from the Tigers.
“We’re going to help him do that,” Odom said. “We wish him the best, hope he graduates and has a very productive life. We’re helping him find out where he wants to go.”
The speedy, diminutive Clark (5-8, 160) from Cy Springs (Texas) High was a late addition to Mizzou’s recruiting class in February after two players — Bishop Miege’s Jafar Armstrong (Notre Dame) and Kemp (Texas) High’s Elijah Gardiner (Ohio State) — de-committed from Odom’s program.
The Tigers’ depth at slot receiver has been dealt a further blow by junior Ray Wingo’s absence.
“He won’t finish up his class for another couple weeks, so right now he wouldn’t be eligible to be able to participate academically,” Odom said.
Wingo appeared in seven games last season, finishing with five catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
He had a career day against Eastern Michigan last season, hauling in three passes for 125 yards with a 52-yard touchdown.
As a freshman in 2015, Wingo appeared in nine games and totaled 28 yards from scrimmage.
That leaves sophomores Johnathon Johnson and Richaud Floyd as the lone scholarship players at slot receiver for the moment.
Odom makes Coaches’ Poll debut
Odom is a voter in the 2017 USA Today/Amway Coaches’ Poll — and it’s not a duty he’s pushing off onto the team’s communications staff.
“My name’s on it, right?” Odom said. “I’m voting. I take great honor, and it’s a responsibility that I’m happy to have. It’s one of the great things about having the opportunity to do this. Heck yeah, I’m going to vote every week.”
The preseason poll features four Tigers’ opponents in the preseason rankings.
Auburn, which plays Sept. 23 at Memorial Stadium, is ranked No. 13, while three SEC East foes — Georgia (15), Florida (16) and Tennessee (24) — made the initial poll.
MU plays at the Bulldogs on Oct. 14 and hosts the Gators (Nov. 4) and Volunteers (Nov. 11) back-to-back less than a month later in Columbia.
Three-time reigning SEC champion Alabama is ranked No. 1 and LSU checks in 12th, giving the SEC a nation-leading six ranked teams to start the season.
Texas A&M, Arkansas and Mississippi State also received votes, though Odom didn’t vote for his own team.
He explained that’s because of “where we finished the year (in 2016), but we’ll see after week one.”
NCAA waiting game continues for DL trio
Junior defensive tackle Walter Palmore, a transfer from Eastern Arizona College, has arrived at Mizzou, but he’s still being held out of practice.
“Palmore’s here and went through the physical and protocol, getting all that stuff knocked out,” Odom said. “We’re waiting for the final OK from the NCAA and compliance. I’m watching my watch, looking at my phone, waiting for updates. It’s anytime.”
Palmore’s former Eastern Arizona College teammate, junior defensive tackle Malik Young, has yet to arrive as he awaits NCAA clearance.
Another junior college defensive lineman Rashad Brandon, who participated throughout the spring, also remains sidelined awaiting final word on his eligibility.
Finally, junior defensive end Nate Howard’s indefinite suspension continued after his June arrest for alleged drug possession.
Howard’s case was continued Wednesday with the next court date set for Aug. 24, which means he likely will miss all of training camp.
Sophomore safety Ronnell Perkins (hamstring) and freshman offensive lineman Pompey Coleman (leg) remained sidelined, while junior wide receiver Nate Brown was limited but participated in most drills.