Daniel Parker Jr. to transfer, leaving Missouri Tigers without top tight end for bowl

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Tight end Daniel Parker Jr. is transferring from the Missouri Tigers football program.

The Kansas City native and Blue Springs product was removed from the team’s online roster. He also retweeted a Sunday night report from Power Mizzou’s Mitchell Forde that Parker was entering the transfer portal. A team spokesperson confirmed Parker’s transfer plans to The Star on Monday morning.

Parker was in his fourth season at Missouri and has one season of eligibility remaining.

This news comes after Parker didn’t play in the Tigers’ regular-season ending loss to Arkansas. He was supposed to speak to reporters in a scheduled availability last Tuesday and a team spokesperson said that he was feeling under the weather.

Parker played a significant role for Mizzou as the No. 1 tight end this season and his transfer is a loss for coach Eliah Drinkwitz’s squad. The tight end was the hero of a Nov. 20 victory over Florida, securing the ball in the end zone on a two-point conversion in overtime to ensure bowl eligibility for the Tigers. He had 12 receptions for 93 yards and three touchdowns in 2021, but was also praised for his blocking ability.

A four-star recruit, Parker signed with the Missouri program as a defensive end in 2018. He made the switch to offense shortly after joining the team and recorded 41 receptions for 337 yards and four touchdowns through his four seasons with the program. He missed half of the 2020 season because of a concussion and missed time in 2019 after an eye infection nearly ended his football career.

Junior Niko Hea is expected to take over as the Tigers’ top tight end. He has recorded 18 receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns this season.

True freshman Ryan Hoerstkamp will be Mizzou’s other option behind Hea as redshirt junior Messiah Swinson also announced Monday he will transfer.

Both saw an uptick in playing time in Parker’s absence against Arkansas, with Swinson on the field for 26 snaps and Hoerstkamp for 19, according to Pro Football Focus.

Defensive backs enter portal

Sophomore defensive backs Chris Shearin and Ish Burdine also entered their names in the transfer portal.

Shearin appeared in 18 games across the 2019 and 2021 seasons while opting out of 2020.

The former three-star recruit out of IMG Academy and Suffolk, Virginia played 171 snaps this year, according to Pro Football Focus. He had the lowest tackling grade of any defensive player on the Mizzou roster, per PFF, only recording three on the season.

Burdine, also a three-star recruit, appeared in five games this season. He had 124 snaps on defense and seven total tackles.

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