Out goes one experienced Division I lineman, in comes another for the Missouri Tigers.
The Missouri Tigers football team announced some devastating news on Thursday afternoon, as it was revealed that offensive lineman Nate Crawford has “medically retired” from the sport after undergoing his second back surgery.
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The Tigers are already in the process of replacing him, though, announcing on Thursday that graduate transfer Michael Stannard will join the program.
Stannard, last listed at 6-foot-2 and 290 pounds, is a versatile interior lineman. He played in 10 games (starting six) at right guard for Memphis in 2014, then played in every game while starting one at left guard and serving as the Tigers’ backup center for most of the 2015 season. He’s a local kid, originally hailing from Columbia, and he played for current Mizzou recruiting director A.J. Ofodile at Rock Bridge high school.
Stannard, who was at Memphis at the same time as Mizzou’s new head coach, Barry Odom, will initially join the program as a walk-on while all the details surrounding his scholarship are finalized. Since the Tigers only have 10 scholarship offensive linemen at the moment, including three true freshmen, two junior college transfers, and two players who are currently injured, Stannard will be an extremely welcome addition.
Since Stannard is arriving in the Mizzou program at such a late stage in the process, it’s somewhat unlikely that he’ll contribute much from scrimmage unless it becomes absolutely necessary (which, with so few scholarship linemen on the roster, is actually a pretty decent possibility). For now, though, he’ll be behind guys like walk-on Samson Bailey and the line’s only returning player with starting experience, Alec Abeln.