Drew Lock is giving himself another year to secure the bag at Missouri.
The first-team All-Southeastern Conference quarterback announced Tuesday that he’ll return in 2018 to play his senior season with the Tigers.
In a statement released Tuesday, Lock said that, among other reasons, a “feeling of responsibility and loyalty to my coaches and teammates at Mizzou” was key in his decision to come back for the Tigers.
“We have goals to achieve together,” Lock said.
“Secure the bag” was a Missouri football mantra throughout the season. Lock helped promote it by making the action of putting on a backpack a staple celebration, but it gained national attention when Texas coach Tom Herman mocked it from the sideline in the final moments of the Texas Bowl.
In a video Lock posted to Twitter to announce his return, the quarterback’s first appearance was him “securing the bag” after connecting with Johnathon Johnson for a 74-yard touchdown against the Longhorns.
The video’s accompanying song? Gucci Mane’s “I Get the Bag.”
Lock sought an NFL draft grade after a historic junior season. The Lee’s Summit native threw 44 touchdown passes, which led the nation and broke the school and SEC single-season record. He also amassed 3,964 yards through the air — the third-most ever at Missouri and the most since Chase Daniel threw for a school-record 4,335 yards in 2008.
Still, the NFL’s College Advisory Committee didn’t see Lock as a first- or second-round pick in 2018 and advised he stay in school another year.
That wasn’t even taking into account the fact that the 2017 draft class is stocked with hot quarterback prospects like Southern California’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.
“I’m proud of Drew and his family for how they approached this decision and how they handled themselves during this process,” coach Barry Odom said in the release. “We were very thorough in gathering all the information possible to assist.
“Drew obviously has a great skillset 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.”
Lock is the second Tiger underclassman with NFL prospects to announce he’ll return to Missouri next season. Defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. decided to return for his senior year before even seeking a draft grade.
Lock also said the opportunity to play for new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Derek Dooley was a factor in his decision to stay, along with getting his degree. Lock is a sport management major and is scheduled to earn his degree in December.
Dooley will take over a loaded offense in 2018. Nine starters return, including all five offensive linemen and wide receivers Emanuel Hall and Johnathon Johnson. Returning sophomore tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was named second-team All-SEC. Okwuegbunam and two others on the offensive side (center Trystan Castillo and all-purpose/kick returner Larry Rountree III) made the SEC’s all-freshman team.
Finally, running back Damarea Crockett is set to return from a shoulder injury that kept him out for the final seven games of 2017.