Redshirt junior Missouri wide receiver Alex Ofodile sprinted five yards, made a hard right cut, tiptoed the sideline and caught a ball thrown by his father, and wide receivers coach, A.J. Ofodile during pregame warm ups of the Tigers’ 51-14 victory over UT Martin.
Why was a generic moment so significant? Ofodile, a Columbia native, donned the black and gold for the first time in his career. He’s a second generation Missouri football player, as his father was a tight end for the Tigers from 1991-93 and played in the NFL for six years.
Ofodile transferred to Missouri after a couple underwhelming, injury-riddled years at the University of Oregon. The 2015 MSHSAA Class 6 Offensive Player of the Year was a four-star recruit and the 12th-ranked wide receiver in the Class of 2015 during his time at Rock Bridge High School.
Ofodile and true freshman Jalen Knox were listed as co-second-string wide receivers in Tuesday’s depth chart, giving the impression he’d play a solid amount in Missouri’s Week 1 cupcake game. However, Knox got in quite a few more snaps than Ofodile, and even showed out with an impressive 38-yard catch Saturday afternoon.
“[If you] look at how the game was when they went in, and then leading up to when we put the depth chart out, it was a situation to where it was either-or,” head coach Barry Odom said.
Ofodile looked solid in his limited time, though. He was split out wide for a few series in the fourth quarter and found himself open on a backside route, only to have backup quarterback Taylor Powell scramble away.
He also had a screen called for him, but Powell threw an errant pass resulting in an incompletion. The missed flash screen was Ofodile’s only target of the game, as he was held catch-less due to that and Odom running down the clock. Missouri’s head coach did suggest this won’t be the Oregon transfer’s only chance to play, though.
“There’s a lot of moving parts that we’ve got to merge and make sure we put them together the right way,” Odom said. “All of those receivers will have to help us down the stretch.”
A Week 2 matchup against Wyoming won’t be as backup-filled as Saturday’s game, but Ofodile should be able to get in for a few plays.