This week’s news and notes from Mizzou football

Mizzou football celebrated “Flipmas” last weekend, as linebacker Xavier Simmons, a former Virginia Tech commit, changed course and gave a verbal commitment to the Tigers. Simmons, who hails from Northwest Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, is 6’3” and has put on a lot of weight to what had previously been a 210-pound frame. He’s very quick for his size, allowing the Mizzou coaching staff to use him as either a traditional linebacker or as a pass-rusher on the edge. 

Simmons becomes the 13th commit and first linebacker in the 2022 recruiting class. Another player the Tigers are looking to add to that recruiting class is top-ranked East St. Louis wide receiver Luther Burden, who announced his decision to decommit from the University of Oklahoma earlier in the week. 

Burden visited Columbia multiple times this summer and participated in Mizzou’s seven-on-seven passing camp, where he shined against many Missouri high school programs. Many other schools are still in the mix for Burden’s commitment including Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma. The Sooners have been in this spot before, previously re-earning former star wideout CeeDee Lamb’s commitment after he decommitted to consider his options.

On the practice field, two of Mizzou’s wide receivers suffered injuries that head coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced to the media this week. Redshirt freshman Ja’Mori Maclin suffered a broken forearm, putting his week one status in doubt, and redshirt freshman Mookie Cooper is dealing with a lower-leg injury that Drinkwitz said should only keep him out of practice for 10-14 days. While the receiver group is one of Mizzou’s deepest this year, it will be vital for the Tigers to get two potential breakout candidates back on the field as soon as possible to prepare for the upcoming season.

In addition, starting quarterbackConnor Bazelak missed practice on Thursday due to a 24-hour illness. Although it doesn’t appear to be serious, it will be reassuring to see Bazelak return to the practice field soon. The Tigers are hosting their only open practice of fall camp this Saturday, August 21 at Memorial Stadium from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information on the Mizzou Football Fan Night, visit the Mizzou Athletics website.

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