Do you remember the 2019 football season? Kelly Bryant was the quarterback, Jonathan Nance was the team’s leading receiver with Nick Bolton and Cale Garrett emerging as a dominant linebacker duo for the first half of the season while Garrett was healthy.
It was also the final year of Barry Odom’s tenure at Missouri. Not coincidentally, the top nine in-state recruits all decided to take their talents out-of-state to play for programs scattered across the country.
One of those recruits, Mookie Cooper, already decided to transfer to play for his home state school. Another could be looking to do the same.
Former four star linebacker Antonio Doyle announced on Twitter on Thursday his intentions to transfer from Texas A&M. It has been reported that Doyle has not officially entered the transfer portal, but everything is pointing in that direction. Doyle was originally committed to Missouri before de-committing from the Tigers and taking his talents to College Station for the last two seasons.
Things haven’t gone according to plan. Doyle appeared to be buried on the linebacker depth chart and the vast majority of his playing time has come on special teams. Doyle shifted to playing on the edge this season after losing the fall camp battle at linebacker, according to the 247 Sports Texas A&M site.
That doesn’t mean all hope is lost and Doyle can’t play. Much like with Cooper, Doyle is at a talent rich program with blue chips flooding the linebacker room. The linebackers ahead of him were all rated as 4-star prospects in high school, and they were all rated among the top 250 players nationally. Texas A&M already has another four star prospect committed in the 2022 class, and they’re still “in” on two other top linebacker prospects. Doyle can see the writing on the wall, and now it’s time to look for another opportunity.
That opportunity could come at Missouri.
Doyle still possesses the necessary talent to start in the SEC. Will it be at linebacker? It’s hard to say. Maybe he’s going to convert as an edge long-term. He’s a 6-foot-3, 250-pound athlete playing in the front seven and he’s too talented for a team like Missouri not to come calling.
Doyle is the type of recruit Missouri missed out on far too often in the Odom era. He’s also the exact recruit Drinkwitz has made a priority. He once wanted to be #MizzouMade. Maybe, after a brief detour, that can still be the case.