football Edit

Albert Okwuegbunam to stay in school

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Missouri's offense is getting a major boost for 2019. Redshirt sophomore tight end Albert Okwuegbunam tweeted Thursday that he will return to school for another season rather than enter the NFL Draft.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is next Monday, January 14th. Several mock drafts had Okwuegbunam listed in the first two rounds if he had chosen to leave school.

Okwuegbunam broke out in the second half of the 2017 season as a redshirt freshman. He finished that year with 29 catches for 415 yards and 11 touchdowns, which led the country for a tight end and for freshmen. He was a second-team all-SEC selection in 2017.

As a redshirt sophomore, Okwuegbunam caught 43 passes for 466 yards, but hurt his shoulder midway through the ninth game of the season at Florida. Though Missouri listed him as day-to-day, Okwuegbunam never returned to the field. But with today's news, Mizzou fans haven't seen the last of Albert O.

Okwuegbunam comes back to a Missouri offense that will return its leading rusher, two starting wide receivers and three offensive linemen. The biggest change will be at quarterback, where graduate transfer Kelly Bryant is slated to replace Drew Lock as the starter. Albert O's return will give Bryant a built-in security blanket to start the 2019 season.

Along with Okwuegbunam, Missouri is slated to return Daniel Parker Jr., Brendan Scales and Logan Christopherson at tight end. The Tigers will also add Messiah Swinson, a 2018 signee who was expected to see the field this season prior to a season-ending knee injury in fall camp.