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Missouri RB Tyler Badie to enter draft, skip Armed Forces Bowl

Sportsnaut
Nov 26, 2021; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Connor Bazelak (8) hands the ball off to running back Tyler Badie (1) during the first quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2021; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Connor Bazelak (8) hands the ball off to running back Tyler Badie (1) during the first quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri record-setting running back Tyler Badie said Tuesday he will enter the 2022 NFL Draft, and will not play in Wednesday’s Armed Forces Bowl.

The Tigers (6-6) will face Army (8-4) in the bowl in Fort Worth, Texas.

He announced his intention on social media.

Badie set a Missouri single-season record with 1,604 rushing yards. He had 14 rushing touchdowns, plus four more scores on 54 receptions for 330 yards. He was named first-team All-Southeastern Conference.

The 5-foot-8 back from New Orleans had one year of eligibility remaining.

At an Armed Forcces Bowl news conference on Tuesday, coach Eliah Drinkwitz said he and running backs coach Curtis Luper made the decision to hold Badie out of the game due to the risk of injury.

“I know that if we asked him to play, he would play and he would take every rep just like he did against Arkansas with over 40 carries,” Drinkwitz said. “But I cannot do that to that young man and as a program we’re not gonna do that. We thank him for all that he’s done. He’s been a tremendous leader and captain for our football team and will continue to do that for us tomorrow. He’ll just be serving our football team in a different way.”

Dawson Dunning will start at running back. He had 10 carries for 83 yards with one touchdown on the season.

Drinkwitz also said redshirt freshman Brady Cook will make his first start at quarterback in place of sophomore starter Connor Bazelak. The job was up for grabs after Bazelak, who started 11 games this season, threw for just 65 yards and an interception in a 34-17 loss to Arkansas to end the regular season.

In 2021, Bazelak threw for 2,548 yards with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Cook completed 19 of 24 pass attempts for 107 yards and a touchdown.

“Brady Cook has had really an outstanding past two weeks whether it was the Saturdays and Sundays that we practiced during the recruiting weekend or the way he’s put himself out there to lead,” Drinkwitz said. “And everybody competed for it, but I think for our football team right now it’s his opportunity to play, and we’ll be ready if something else presents itself, but going into the game, Brady will be our starting quarterback.”

–Field Level Media