University of Missouri

Missouri football picked third in SEC East, lands five on preseason all-SEC teams

Barry Odom at SEC Media Days

Missouri coach Barry Odom meets with the local media at SEC Media Days on Monday.
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Missouri coach Barry Odom meets with the local media at SEC Media Days on Monday.

Missouri was picked Friday to finish third in the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division behind Georgia and Florida, and the Tigers landed five players on the preseason all-conference teams.

Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was MU’s lone preseason first team selection at tight end, as the 6-foot-5 pass-catcher enters his redshirt junior season with a strong chance to win the Mackey Award. Okwuegbunam was a finalist for the Mackey Award last season, which is given to the nation’s top tight end. Okwuegbunam missed the second half of last season because of a shoulder injury, but is expected to thrive under new tight ends coach A.J. Ofodile.

Linebacker Cale Garrett and offensive lineman Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms both made the preseason all-SEC second team, while defensive back DeMarkus Acy and tailback Larry Rountree III were chosen to the third team. Garrett is one of the conference’s top returning linebackers and Simms is coming off an incredible year in which he didn’t allow a sack as a junior.

Rountree was MU’s top tailback in 2018 and should thrive in an offense that will likely be a little more run-heavy with the addition of duel-threat quarterback Kelly Bryant. Acy has three interceptions last season and has emerged as one of MU’s biggest voices in the locker room.

Missouri opens camp on Aug. 2. It’s first game is at Wyoming on Aug. 31.

SEC preseason media poll

Eastern Division

1. Georgia (233): 1,789

2. Florida (21): 1,499

3. Missouri (3): 1,149

4: South Carolina (1): 883

5. Tennessee (1): 804

6. Kentucky (1): 798

7. Vanderbilt: 358

Western Division

1. Alabama (253): 1,813

2. LSU (5): 1,493

3. Texas A&M: 1,268

4. Auburn (1): 1,090

5. Mississippi State (1): 769

6. Mississippi: 504

7. Arkansas: 343

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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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