The Maneater

SEC Media Days Notebook: Walters takes over defensive play calling; safety Prewett kicked off team

Barry Odom passed on defensive play calling to Ryan Walters for this season, and running back Damarea Crockett is back and healthy.

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It was Missouri’s turn at the SEC Media Days on Wednesday. Coach Barry Odom and seniors Drew Lock, Terry Beckner Jr. and Terez Hall took the stage in Atlanta to talk about the upcoming season.

Prewett out, Oliver in

Odom says safety Kaleb Prewett is officially off the team following speculation that lasted throughout the spring and summer after his January suspension for a violation of team rules. Odom said in the spring that the situation had yet to be resolved.

With the loss at safety, sophomore Joshuah Bledsoe, who was listed as a starter on the fall depth chart, will be the leading candidate to take the starting spot opposite senior Cam Hilton.

Another option could be Khalil Oliver, a graduate transfer from Oregon. Oliver finished classes at Oregon after announcing his transfer in the spring. Odom said Oliver has been on campus for a couple weeks.

Once Oliver gets up to speed with the defense, he could add more depth to a very inexperienced secondary.

Defensive play-calling shifts to Walters

Odom also announced that defensive coordinator Ryan Walters will be the defensive play-caller this season after both held playcalling responsibilities last season.

Odom wants to be able to give the offense his attention when they’re on the field during games, but said it was hard to give up defensive play-calling because he has done it since his first year as a defensive coordinator, which was at Memphis in 2012.

Wide receiver outlook

On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Drew Lock praised freshman wideout Dominic Gicinto for his quickness and intelligence as well as incoming graduate transfer and Rock Bridge graduate Alex Ofodile for his length and being able to go out and bring the ball in.

Lock also pointed to a bigger role for redshirt senior Nate Brown, who is listed as a starter after coming back from back-to-back injury-plagued seasons.

Crockett healthy, Rountree to mix in at tailback

Odom is pleased with how junior Damarea Crockett has progressed after last year’s season-ending shoulder injury.

“He's as good as I've seen Damarea look,” Odom said. “He’s gained an extra step.”

Odom also said sophomore Larry Rountree III will factor into the backfield this season and the staff will have to use both in the run game.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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