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Backups Desean Blair and Ryan Williams leave Missouri as roster paring season continues

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Roster paring season continues apace. Mizzou announced on Thursday that receiver Desean Blair and running back Ryan Williams are no longer with the program.

Neither can be considered too surprising. Blair fit the common transfer profile — out-of-stater, struggled to crack the depth chart, halfway through his eligibility. He had a promising start to his career, gaining attention for some circus catches in practice and catching a 21-yard pass in the 2015 season opener. But he was part of the car accident that also involved Terry Beckner Jr., Keyon Dilosa, and Trevon Walters that September, he missed time with a concussion, and he never again saw the two-deep.

Williams is a little bit more surprising, simply because he’s only a sophomore-to-be, he’s from nearby (Lee’s Summit), and he didn’t have nearly as many players ahead of him on the depth chart (three, to be exact). But with fellow sophomore Damarea Crockett looking like the starter for years to come, and with two more freshmen (Isaiah Miller, Larry Rountree III) incoming, it still makes some sense. Williams rushed nine times for 51 yards against Delaware State.

By my count, that leaves Mizzou at 62 scholarship players, plus three walk-ons who started at least briefly in 2016 and the three early signees for the 2017 class. Barry Odom has said he might sign a full class — which would be up to 28 players thanks to the early signees — so be prepared for five to eight more departures between now and the end of the spring semester.

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