Missouri QB Drew Lock, nation's passing TD leader, returning for senior season

Missouri quarterback Drew Lock, who led the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2017 with 44 touchdown passes, announced Tuesday he will return to Columbia for his senior season after flirting with the idea of jumping early to the NFL.

Lock passed for 3,964 yards for head coach Barry Odom and the Tigers in 2017, leading them to a berth in the Texas Bowl -- their first postseason appearance since the 2014 season. Lock's status with the program was in question due in part to his gaudy stats from a year ago and the fact that former coordinator Josh Heupel left to take the UCF head coaching job. Heupel has since been replaced by former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley.

"I'm very excited to be coming back for my senior year, and I'm really optimistic about what we can do as a team next season," Lock said. "There were a lot of factors that went into this decision, but the main ones include: a feeling of responsibility and loyalty to my coaches and teammates at Mizzou – we have goals to achieve together; having the chance to play for a new coach in Coach Dooley, and his system that will continue to add to my development; and of course, getting my degree. I feel like all of these factors combine to give me the best chance to succeed at the next level. Thank you to Coach Odom and everyone on the Mizzou staff for being patient and very helpful to my family and me during this process. I'm looking forward to exciting things to come!"

Lock passed Kentucky's Andre Woodson, who tossed 40 in 2007 for the Wildcats, in the SEC record book for touchdown passes in a single season. 

"I'm proud of Drew and his family for how they approached this decision and how they handled themselves during the process," Odom said. "We were very thorough in gathering all the information possible to assist. Drew obviously has a great skill set that will continue to be developed at Mizzou. His leadership skills and being a great teammate are two qualities that I admire. I look forward to building our team this spring and am excited that Drew will be part of that."

Missouri will open the 2018 season at home against UT-Martin on Sept. 4.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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