University of Missouri

MU notes: Mizzou coach Barry Odom not gung ho about changing football signing period

Missouri coach Barry Odom
Missouri coach Barry Odom

The irony in Missouri coach Barry Odom saying he didn’t need to “have opinions” on the NCAA’s new proposal to change signing day periods was that Odom gave a number of opinions just minutes prior to that.

Asked about proposed new dates during which football recruits would be allowed to sign a national letters of intent, Odom referenced his time as a former coach at Columbia’s Rock Bridge High in explaining how he’d like to see the situation shake out.

“I want the high school coaches to be able to be high school coaches, and I think that’s important that we don’t take out the importance of kids being able to be kids,” Odom said, adding that if these signing day periods were implemented, high school players would check out prior to their senior seasons.

The NCAA Division I Council last Wednesday made this proposal, one which would give recruits an option to sign in two 72-hour periods — one in June and one in mid-December — whereas the current period takes place in early February.

Asked about what he’d prefer, MU sophomore offensive lineman Paul Adams said “it would’ve been a little different” in terms of watching coaching situations play out and such, but that he didn’t think it would change much.

The NCAA Board of Directors will vote on the proposal that would be implemented ahead of the 2017-18 recruiting cycle, and although hesitant in much of his answer, Odom said he affirmed his liking to the current period.

“(The current format) has worked pretty good for a long time where it’s at. I wouldn’t mind bringing up (the same) model and seeing if it could work for the next few years,” Odom said. “ … But, if you’re going to do it, there’s already one for a mid-year junior college date (in December) and that one, to me, makes sense to some extent. But, again, I don’t know. Let’s see where it goes.”

Injury updates

The bye week did wonders for Mizzou’s health, but that doesn’t mean everybody on the roster is ready to go for the Florida game on Saturday.

Junior cornerback Logan Cheadle, who has been sidelined since suffering a sprained left ankle against Georgia, continues to mend.

Odom said Cheadle was “back and practiced” during the bye week, but “he just looked OK. He’s going to have to really show some improvements here in the next couple of days to say that he’s ready.”

Sophomore linebacker Terez Hall (sprained ankle) has practiced with no limitations, and Donavin Newsom (concussion protocol) also has been cleared to return to action.

Redshirt freshman Johnathon Johnson, who hurt an ankle on a kickoff return late against LSU, “looked as good as he’s looked all year” during Sunday’s practice.

Finally, Odom said senior running back Alex Ross, who played a limited role at LSU, “looked really good Sunday night at practice.”

“We should be as close to full speed as we have been,” Odom said.

No decision yet on Nate Brown

Junior wide receiver Nate Brown continues to work back from ankle surgery during training camp.

He’s resumed running, but he’s not yet cutting or doing the movements necessary to run routes in a game.

With the season nearly half finished, Brown, who played as a true freshman in 2014, still has a redshirt to burn that would give him back a year of eligibility.

Odom, however, said no such decision has been.

“Just for his mind-set and really ours, over the next two weeks hopefully we can see if it’s — I hate to use the word worth it — but see where he’s at in relation to if he can help us right now,” Odom said.

The redshirt conversation has taken place, though.

“He and I — along with Rex Sharp, our director of sports medicine — have the conversation on where he can go over the next few days or next couple of weeks really,” Odom said.

Brown is being challenged to rehab with an eye toward returning this season, but that doesn’t mean he will, in fact, play.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do and even more,” Odom said.

Homecoming gets afternoon kickoff

Missouri’s homecoming game Oct. 22 against Middle Tennessee State received a 3 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium on the SEC Network, the Southeastern Conference announced Monday.

The Star’s Tod Palmer contributed to this report.