University of Missouri

Four SEC football teams, including Texas A&M, have contacted Mizzou about its seniors

A.J. Ofodile on Mizzou’s recruiting class

Missouri wideout coach A.J. Ofodile talks about the program’s 2019 recruiting class.
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Missouri wideout coach A.J. Ofodile talks about the program’s 2019 recruiting class.

Barry Odom said last Friday that a lot of his seniors have heard from other schools in wake of the NCAA’s decision to ban Mizzou from a bowl game as a penalty for a former tutor’s academic fraud.

And at least four Southeastern Conference schools are part of that group.

The NCAA said in its ruling it wouldn’t require any MU senior to sit out a transfer season should they decide to leave. Auburn, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Tennessee have contacted Missouri through its compliance department to gauge interest in MU’s seniors possibly transferring.

More could join them.

Odom said on Friday that no senior had told him that they plan to leave and former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant appears to be one of them after his longtime personal coach Ramon Robinson told The Star that Bryant is staying at Mizzou.

Of Missouri’s 20 seniors, linebackers Cale Garrett and Ronnell Perkins, offensive linemen Yasir Durant and Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms and wide receiver Johnathon Johnson started games for MU last year. Both Garrett and Wallace-Simms were chosen to all-SEC teams in 2018.

Texas A&M currently employs former MU tight ends coach Joe Jon Finley at the same position, which explains why the Aggies reached out, given his personal relationship with the players.

Missouri Board of Curators chairman Jon Sundvold said Monday on WHB (810 AM) in Kansas City that Georgia coach Kirby Smart had called Odom to say that he has no plans to poach any of the Tigers’ players.

“They have an opportunity with what they’ve built for three years going on four, they’re on the verge of something really special,” Odom said of his seniors. “They want to be part of that. Those guys didn’t do anything wrong.”

Missouri plans to appeal the NCAA’s decision, which also includes severe recruiting restrictions. The department must submit its appeal by Feb. 15, or 15 days from the date of the original decision.

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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.
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