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.
- Jamal Brooks, longtime commit and basically the social chairman of Mizzou’s 2017 recruiting class, is making his official visit this weekend. PowerMizzou talked to him.
- The Trib’s Blake Toppmeyer looked at Mizzou’s most difficult players to replace heading into 2017.
- Mizzou Women’s Hoops scored a big win over No. 25 Texas A&M last night. The Tigers lost a lead in the fourth quarter but sent the game to overtime with a late bucket by Sophie Cunningham. Cunningham had 36 points and seven rebounds, Cierra Porter had 14 and 13, and Mizzou outscored the Aggies in a wild, 22-20 OT period. Here’s more from The Missourian. And here are some highlights:
- Pretty huge weekend on tap, by the way. Gymnastics hosts No. 4 Alabama tonight in what really might be the biggest home dual in program history. It will be televised live on SEC Network at 8pm CT. Indoor Track hosts the Mizzou Invitational today as well, and Swimming & Diving hosts Drury tonight and Missouri State tomorrow.
- Meanwhile, next Friday Mizzou will host a Tigers with Titles event before the big dual against No. 1 Oklahoma State. “Mizzou Wrestling alums – and current champions in their respective professional fighting leagues – Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley will return to Columbia for an open to the public event.”
- Incoming soccer freshman Zoe Cross is apparently a pretty big deal: She was named to England’s U-19 squad; she has made 24 appearances for the U-17 and U19 teams.
- Softball practice update!