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Mizzou debuts #MakeItRight merch, and Dabo Swinney predicts big things for Kelly Bryant

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Mizzou brings #MakeItRight to the shelves

It’s been fairly evident since Missouri’s NCAA appeal was announced that the main public relations strategy is to keep the story at the front of everyone’s minds. With the vast majority of press slanted negatively toward the NCAA, Mizzou has to make sure they get time in the limelight as the victims. On Monday, the school announced a new way for the fans to get in on the effort.

It’s a small gesture, but it is meaningful. Until now, the school’s main push has been for donations, but not everyone can contribute meaningful dollars and cents. A unique tee with the rallying cry front and center makes it possible for everyone to get involved while maintaining the press campaign the Tigers need to potentially get the sanctions overturned.

Dabo Swinney gushes over former quarterback

Dabo Swinney has a lot of things on his mind these days — how to repeat as National Champion probably being one of them, getting to finally take some swings at an MLB spring training being the other.

However, the Clemson head coach is also still thinking about his former quarterback, Kelly Bryant. Swinney says there’s no bitterness toward Bryant since his transfer, and he believes KB is bound for a great season in mid-Missouri

You don’t always hear this from coaches who lose players to other programs, at least not to this extent, but Swinney insisted he’ll root for Bryant with the Tigers.

“Absolutely. Absolutely, man,” he said. “He’s a graduate. He did everything – he went above and beyond and did everything you could ever ask of any young person in your program. It’s just sometimes you get into some tough situations and at the end of the day there are decisions that have to be made. That is what stinks about my job. Sometimes people are happy with those decisions, some people are unhappy with those decisions. But you have to make them. I’ll always pull for Kelly...”

Swinney gushes about Bryant, touting his personality, work ethic and high character. Swinney made the comments during his visit to Jupiter, Florida, for the St. Louis Cardinals spring training, so maybe he was just playing to the media. However, it does seem like Bryant is popular wherever he goes. That includes Columbia, where he has quickly endeared himself to everyone in his orbit.

The day after four-year Mizzou starter Drew Lock put on a show at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Bryant began his first official day as Lock’s successor with a stop in Mizzou’s wide receiver meeting room to give a pep talk for the players hoping to catch his passes.

“I was pretty shocked,” senior slot receiver Johnathon Johnson said. “That’s definitely something he feels he needs to do, which is something I like.”

Bryant seems to be fitting into his role of new program star just fine. If we’re talking about things that could help Missouri’s case with the NCAA, a likable star quarterback who transferred to the SEC for his senior season couldn’t hurt. If there’s anything the NCAA likes, it’s profiting off of the players, and a winning team with a charismatic guy behind center won’t be kept in the penalty box forever.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • Sean Williams did his weekly recruiting recap at PowerMizzou, highlighting new offers sent out by the staff in the past week ($$). Gabe also posted his Monday morning thoughts (also $$), and Mitchell Forde capped the day with a column on Sophie Cunningham’s impact on the women’s basketball program.
  • Bad news on the NFL Draft front, as the Kansas City Star reports Emanuel Hall may be suffering from a sports hernia. Another injury setback could undo some of the good will Hall built up this weekend, but it’s still hard to see him falling out of the draft completely after he wowed scouts with his athleticism (especially not being at full strength.)
  • Daniel Jones spoke to the women’s basketball team about their headspace going into the postseason. They told him it’s better than the past two years.
  • For all you parents of children out there: