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  As Missouri's Eli Drinkwitz opens his second preseason camp Friday, he's got one crucial box already checked. "We have a commodity at the quarterback position," he recently said. Only a few peers across the Southeastern Conference can say the same heading into the start of practices. But at Mizzou, for the first time since 2018, the Tigers return their starter at the game's most important position. Connor Bazelak has appeared in games each of the last two seasons, but thanks to the NCAA's extra year of eligibility for all athletes, Bazelak technically returns as a redshirt freshman again this fall.

Last season, when he started the last eight games of MU's Southeastern Conference-only 10-game schedule, Bazelak was named the league's co-freshman of the year. At last month's SEC media days, Drinkwitz joked that Bazelak could win the award again this year. "I don't know if that's possible," he said. "But maybe with COVID exception it is...We're excited about the growth he can show and earn." Few SEC teams have the same luxury. Last year, SEC quarterbacks Mac Jones (Alabama) and Kyle Trask (Florida) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Heisman Trophy voting. Kellen Mond broke every significant career passing record at Texas A&M. All three have moved onto the NFL, leaving the SEC with a conspicuous void of star power at the position. - Post-Dispatch

(DS#8 QB) rSo/2024 QB Connor BazelakMissouri
News Source: Post-Dispatch



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