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Gary Pinkel says RB Kendial Lawrence has NFL future

The senior RB has been one of the few bright spots in what's been a disappointing first year in the SEC for Missouri.

Jamie Squire

Missouri's first year in the SEC has hardly been an unqualified success, especially in comparison to Texas A&M, their fellow Big 12 refugee.

Injuries as well as a few close losses have pushed their record to 5-6, making their game against the Aggies on Saturday a must-win if they're going to go bowling this season.

And with Gary Pinkel's high-flying passing offense struggling mightily, RB Kendial Lawrence, in his first year as a starter, has emerged to pick up most of the slack:

"I'm sure he'll have opportunities at the professional level," Pinkel said in his weekly press conference. "He's having a great year. Even with all our challenges on the offensive line it's amazing that he almost has 1,000 yards. He's very talented and a tough runner."

Lawrence, 5'9 195 senior, has rushed for 938 yards and 11 TD's on 5.1 yards per carry this season.

The Tigers struggles on the offensive line, meanwhile, make establishing him all the more important against Texas A&M, as the Aggies have one of the fiercest pass rushes in the country, led by Damontre Moore.