COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri’s quarterback competition has a new arm.
A much older arm. But a better arm? This answer will reveal itself soon enough.
Former Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss and Mississippi State quarterback Jack Abraham signed with the Tigers on Sunday after visiting campus over the weekend, he told the Post-Dispatch. He officially announced his transfer plans on social media on Monday.
Abraham, the 2018-2020 Southern Miss starter, will initially join Mizzou as an extra with a chance to win a scholarship for the 2022 season, his seventh season in college football.
“Whether (a scholarship) works or not, that’s not what I’m coming for,” Abraham said. “I come for the opportunity to compete and play at the next level. So this is the opportunity that was given to me. I think it’s the best decision I’ve made so far. I’m animated.”
A Missouri staffer who has struck three times with established transfer quarterbacks this offseason delivered a simple message to Abraham: “They’re looking for a guy with experience,” he said.
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There is no doubt that he brings experience. Abraham attempted 859 career passes over three seasons at Southern Miss (2018-20), compared to 82 career passes for Mizzou’s two returning quarterbacks, Brady Cook and Tyler Macon.
“It’s year seven, so I have about as much experience as anyone else,” Abraham said. “They are looking for experience and a guy to add to the competition. What they were able to tell me was that I would have a fair chance to compete for the position. That’s really all I can ask for at this point.
Abraham, who turns 25 in October, plans to move to Colombia later this month. He won’t move here alone. Her first wedding anniversary arrives next month. His wife, Amy, is a speech pathologist in Houston, Mississippi, and will eventually join him at Columbia.
Once he’s settled into his new program, Abraham will join Cook and Macon on the roster, along with Tommy Lock and incoming freshman Sam Horn, a four-star recruit from Georgia, who is expected to move to Colombia. later this month. Horn could be brought high enough in the MLB Draft in July to decide between a pro baseball contract and a football scholarship to Mizzou, but no matter how this situation plays out, the Tigers have addressed the depth of the position with the addition of Abraham.
Abraham’s commitment comes after Mizzou missed three Power Five QB transfers in the past three months: Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels, who picked LSU; JT Daniels of Georgia (West Virginia); and Gerry Bohanon of Baylor (South Florida).
Abraham has been in the transfer portal since January but only emerged as a serious target for Mizzou last week. Abraham first heard of Mizzou wide receivers coach Jacob Peeler earlier this spring. Peeler, a fellow Mississippian, had recruited Abraham out of high school when he was an assistant in California in the Pac-12. But last week, those conversations resumed and included Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz and quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan.
“After talking to Coach Hamdan, Coach Drink and Coach Peeler, I knew they were interested,” Abraham said. “So I came here this weekend just to get my eyes on (the program). I feel really good about it.”
Abraham, a native of Oxford, Mississippi, signed to Tulane in high school — he was in the same recruiting class in 2016 as teammate DK Metcalf, the Pro Bowl receiver entering his fourth NFL season — but instead signed with Louisiana Tech after Tulane staff was fired. Abraham wore a red shirt at Louisiana Tech as a rookie, then played a season at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he threw for over 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. His next stop was Southern Miss, where in three seasons he passed for 7,067 yards with 41 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. He led the nation in completion percentage in 2018 at 73.1% and for his three-year stint completed 69.3% with a passer rating of 147.4.
After the first five games of the 2020 season, Abraham retired to Southern Miss – he had suffered a concussion and contracted COVID – then transferred to Mississippi State to compete for Mike’s starting quarterback position. Leach in the SEC. But Abraham suffered from post-concussion syndrome following a collision during practice without a helmet during the offseason and did not play in any Bulldogs games. After the season, he received a medical redshirt and a seventh year of eligibility for 2022. In January, he entered the transfer portal with one year remaining to play at the college level.
“I saw a lot, played pretty much every level,” Abraham said. “Group of 5, JUCO, obviously I was at (Mississippi) State for a little while and played there in the spring. I saw a lot of talent and from a player perspective, I’m proud of the accuracy , footwork, timing, just getting the ball out fast and getting it into the hands of those playmakers. That’s something I was proud of at Southern Miss for three years.
“I can run a little if I need to,” he added. “If there’s a big old guy chasing me, I tend to run a little faster. I’m not the fastest guy in the world, but I can do it if I need to.