MSU’s Petrino signs 8 including O’Reilly, Lair


SPRINGFIELD, Mo–Wednesday was another national letter of intent signing day.

The mid-December period is relatively new but is the first opportunity for athletes to sign for football.

And Missouri State Bears coach Bobby Petrino was able to sign a number of players including a couple of local products.

One of those is Springfield Catholic wide receiver Liam O’Reilly.

O’Reilly signed with Missouri State Wednesday.

The 6-foot-2, 180 pound All-State receiver racked up 600 yards of receptions with four touchdowns for Catholic.

O’Reilly also plays basketball for the Fighting Irish, and he’s thrilled to be playing next fall for the Bears.

“I’m excited. It’s good to finally get it over with and I’m excited to be a Bear. The local aspect, but I like the coaches a lot too. The past two seasons of recent success has been exciting to watch. Hopefully I can be a part of another Missouri Valley Football Conference championship,” said O’Reilly.

O’Reilly isn’t the only local high school senior to sign with Petrino.

West Plains running back and linebacker Connor Lair signed with the Bears Wednesday.

Lair is a two-way starter, but is listed on the Bears recruiting sheet as a running back.

He rushed for 720 yards on 87 carries, scoring 20 touchdowns.

Lair also caught seven touchdown passes.

Lair also 90 plus tackles in back to back seasons.

Here’s a quick look at the Missouri State recruiting class.

The Bears signed eight players, five of them will be freshmen, three others are transfers.

One big get was Tico Brown a defensive lineman who’s transfering in from Central Michigan.

Bobby Petrino had these thoughts on the December signing day.

“We had some really good games where the local talent came to the game. And we did a good job. We felt like Liam and Connor were the guys we really wanted. And guys we really went after at this time. There are still a couple of more that we’re recruiting and hopefully come in February. But I think it helps us a lot. It gets more people in the stands. They come out and play well. Guys start identifying with Missouri State. And more and more players want to play here,” said Petrino.

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