Newcomer Profile: Jack Abraham
The Missouri football roster in 2022 will look drastically different than a season ago. Eli Drinkwitz and his staff have added a whopping 34 scholarship newcomers to the team since last season ended, thus turning over more than one-third of the roster. Nineteen of those newcomers arrived on campus earlier this month to begin summer conditioning. As we continue to count down the days to fall camp, PowerMizzou is going to profile each of those 20 newcomers who have arrived since the end of spring practices in order to help fans get to know all the new faces on the roster. We will start, however, with a walk-on in journeyman transfer quarterback Jack Abraham.
Year: Redshirt Senior
Last School: Mississippi State
Since Dec. 23, the day after the 2021 season ended, one question has loomed larger than all others for the Missouri football program. Who will start at quarterback in 2022?
That was the day Connor Bazelak, who started 19 games across the past two seasons behind center for the Tigers, announced his intention to enter the transfer portal. Bazelak’s decision, while not surprising since he lost his starting job to Brady Cook prior to the Armed Forces Bowl, left Missouri with just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster in Cook and Tyler Macon, each of whom had made one career start.
While the Tigers were always set to add another signal-caller to that group in four-star incoming freshman Sam Horn, Drinkwitz eventually made it clear that he wanted to add some experience to the quarterback room. Missouri pursued a handful of transfer quarterbacks. The Tigers eventually hosted three — Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels, Georgia transfer J.T. Daniels and Baylor transfer Gerry Bohanon — on campus for official visits. All three eventually signed elsewhere.
That’s when Abraham entered the picture. Abraham has had a circuitous college journey. The class of 2016 prospect initially signed with Louisiana Tech, but after he didn’t see the field in his first year there, he left for Northwest Mississippi Community College. After passing for 2,949 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2017, Abraham received a scholarship at Southern Mississippi, where he quickly won the starting job.
Abraham generally performed well during his first two seasons at Southern Miss. In 2018, he completed 73.1 percent of his passes, which led the nation. Across 2018 and 2019, he averaged 8.2 yards per attempt and threw for 34 touchdowns. His weakness, however, was taking care of the ball, as he also threw 25 interceptions.
In 2020, a concussion sidelined Abraham during the Golden Eagles’ fifth game of the year. He then opted out of the rest of the season. Afterward, he transferred to Mississippi State, but before he could see the field, he suffered another concussion. Doctors didn’t clear him to return to the field during the 2021 season as he battled post-concussion syndrome. On April 8, Abraham announced on Twitter that he had been cleared by doctors to resume playing football and entered the transfer portal. A little more than a month later, shortly after Bohanon committed to South Florida, Missouri brought Abraham to campus for a visit. He committed to the Tigers on May 16 as a preferred walk-on.
Just because he doesn’t have a scholarship doesn’t mean Abraham won’t have a legitimate shot to start the season opener against Louisiana Tech — the school where Abraham began his college career. Drinkwitz has maintained that he will host an open competition for the starting job during fall camp, but he did acknowledge that Abraham brings something unique to the competition with his college experience.
"The one thing that neither (Cook or Macon) can change is the amount of experience they have playing college football,” Drinkwitz said last month. “And so our first six games, we have three on the road at Kansas State and Auburn and Florida, and the best teacher is experience, and so in those situations, having an experienced quarterback was something that was important and something that we were looking for."
Whether Missouri ultimately turns to Abraham to lead the offense this fall remains to be seen. But the seventh-year journeyman certainly appears to have a legitimate chance to start behind center on September 1.