By LARRY VAUGHT
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher knows plenty about new Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant, a transfer from Clemson that Fisher faced when he was the coach at Florida State.
Bryant, a graduate transfer, is one reason Missouri was picked to finish third in the SEC Eastern Division in a poll at SEC Media Day. Kentucky, which has four straight wins over Missouri, was picked sixth. UK will host Missouri Oct. 26.
“First of all, the kind of team player he is because he was a starter the year before and they were subbing back and forth with him and Trevor Lawrence, and then he came back in the game and played very well and made the plays and the drives in which they were able to win that football game (against State),” Fisher said.
“I think it shows his team morale and camaraderie and the kind of guy he was and the kind of winner he was. He’s a heck of a player. I think he’ll do very well for Mizzou, that’s for sure.”
So does South Carolina coach Will Muschamp who also faced Bryant when he played for Clemson.
“I got a lot of respect for Kelly and the job he’s done at Clemson and then moving forward to Missouri. Really good football player. Accurate with the football. Dual-threat guy that can hurt you with his legs as well,” Muschamp said. “But I probably think his best attributes as a player is his intangible qualities. The guy is an outstanding leader. He positively affects people around him. He gets guys going and believing in what you need to do to be successful.
“It will be a very smooth transition for him, in my opinion, as far as that’s concerned. Just an outsider looking in, you can see the positive impact he’s already had on that program.”
Fisher also offered his analysis of South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley. He faced A&M in Fisher’s first year in 2018.
“Jake is a heck of a player. Had great arm talent. I knew Jake as a youngster in high school. I mean, can throw it. And being a coach’s son, he knows the game,” Fisher said.
“He’s tough. He can make all the throws. He stands in the pocket. He’s a guy I think will play on Sundays (in the NFL). I think the guy is a heck of a player. I really do.”