Bryant and Nance shine for Missouri in spring game

In their first appearance together, the duo connected three times for 48 yards.
Quarterback Kelly Bryant makes a pass during the Missouri football spring game on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo.

As senior Kelly Bryant dropped back on his third drive for the black team, he saw senior Jonathan Nance streaking down the left sideline. Bryant fit the ball into double coverage for a 25-yard gain. The very next play, the Clemson transfer found Nance again for a 15-yard pick up. These flashes in the Missouri Spring Game may signal what’s to come from the Tiger offense in the fall.

Bryant and Nance both transferred to Missouri for their last year of eligibility. Nance last played at Arkansas for his junior season in 2017 and Bryant played four games as the quarterback for the Clemson Tigers last season. In his junior year at Clemson, Bryant led the Tigers to the College Football Playoff.

In the first half of the spring game, Bryant connected with Nance three times for 48 yards.

“These last few scrimmages before we got to the spring game, we’ve been making some good completions,” Nance said. “I feel like it all transitioned and geared over to the spring game.”

Coach Barry Odom acknowledged the role that Nance could play in key situations down the road.

“Nance has got experience,” Odom said. “He’s played in real games. He’s an older guy so he gets it. We’re going to have to lean on him in some situations because of those things.”

Redshirt sophomore Barrett Banister also spoke of his teammate following the game. He finished with 8 receptions for a total of 73 yards on the day.

“After passes, it’s not a yell at each other type of thing,” Banister said. “It’s a talk to each other, here’s what I saw, here’s what he saw. It’s a very mature relationship, and you can tell [Bryant and Nance] both played at big time programs. It’s for sure something that is going to help us this year with their maturity and being able to go into hostile road environments.”

With the Razorbacks, Nance led the team with five touchdowns and 539 receiving yards. Nance, whose average touchdown catch was 32.2 yards in 2017, knows that he can be a deep threat for the Tiger offense.

“I just wanted to show them I can catch a ball deep because that’s what I’m trying to do most of the time,” Nance said. “It’s good to put on a show for the fans and make plays for Kelly.”

The duo took an official visit together on Oct. 27 ,when the Tigers lost in the final seconds to Kentucky. Bryant chose Missouri on Dec. 4 over Arkansas, Auburn and North Carolina among others. Eight minutes after Bryant committed to the Tigers, Nance tweeted that he was joining him at MU.

“Kelly is a people person so he really can gel with anybody,” Nance said after the game. “We were going through the same thing and I guess we were trying to follow our dreams.”

Sophomore receivers Jalen Knox, Kam Scott and Dominic Gicinto also had receptions in the game. After strong freshman campaigns, Knox picked up 38 yards for the black team and Scott grabbed three passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. Gicinto caught a 36-yard pass for the longest reception on the day.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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