University of Missouri

Kelly Bryant officially signs with Missouri; Drew Lock will play in Senior Bowl

Missouri officially announced the signing of former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant on Thursday. The 6-foot-3 dual-threat quarterback will be on campus in January when classes start and participate in spring football practices.

The signing continued a crazy week for Missouri football, which started Sunday with a Liberty Bowl bid, saw the departure of tight ends coach Joe Jon Finley on Monday and Bryant’s commitment Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Missouri gave coach Barry Odom a contract extension and pay raise.

Bryant will join a Missouri offense that returns a lot in 2019 despite the graduation of Drew Lock and Emanuel Hall. Bryant hasn’t commented publicly since committing to MU. Missouri has yet to announce the signing of former Arkansas receiver Jonathan Nance, who committed to the Tigers minutes after Bryant on Tuesday.

Nance went to high school with current MU wideout Richaud Floyd.

Badie, Parker on SEC All-Freshman team

The Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team was released on Thursday and Missouri had two players representing the program in tailback Tyler Badie and tight end Daniel Parker, a Blue Springs graduate.

Despite playing behind Damarea Crockett and Larry Rountree, Badie rushed for 407 yards and two touchdowns while also seeing time at kick returner. He helped Missouri downfield to set up the game-winning field goal against Purdue early in the season.

Parker’s season has been nothing short of a revelation. He signed with MU as a defensive end and was converted to tight end in fall camp after fellow freshman Messiah Swinson went down because of an ACL tear. The 6-foot-4 Parker emerged as one of MU’s best run blockers, setting up two touchdowns in Missouri’s upset win over then-No. 13 Florida. He caught a touchdown against Vanderbilt.

Odom has said he plans to discuss Parker’s future at the position after the season. Parker has thought about staying at tight end or switching to offensive or defensive line.

Lock to play in Senior Bowl

The Reese’s Senior Bowl announced that Lock, a Lee’s Summit native, will play in its event, which takes place Jan. 26 in Birmingham, Ala. He joins wideout Emanuel Hall as Mizzou’s two invitees to the game.

NFL scouts recently told The Star that the Senior Bowl will be Lock’s first chance to start improving his draft stock. Top picks like Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield played in last year’s game.

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.