Missouri State is primed for a huge season and is one of the favorites for the 2022 FCS National Championship after being ranked 6th in the HERO Sports Preseason FCS Poll. The Bears had one of the most explosive offenses in the country last season and have added landed multiple impact transfers for the upcoming season. Missouri State landed one of the top FCS transfers in the country this past weekend as former Samford wide receiver AJ Toney announced his commitment to the Bears on social media.
Toney was a 3-star prospect out of Birmingham, AL and ranked as a Top-75 player in the state of Alabama in the class of 2019. The 5-foot-7, 177-pound receiver totaled 26 receptions, 360 receiving yards, 390 rushing yards, and 8 total touchdowns as a senior at Jackson-Olin High School. He helped Jackson-Olin to the 1st undefeated season in school history. Toney announced his commitment to Samford over offers from Appalachian State, Florida Atlantic, Navy and multiple other FBS programs.
Toney was able to make an immediate impact for the Bulldogs as he was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team in 2019. He followed up his freshman campaign with another All-American season as he was named 2nd Team All-SoCon in the 2020-21 season. Toney totaled 94 catches, 887 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns over his three seasons for the Bulldogs. He announced his transfer in November of 2021 and will have two years of eligibility left at Missouri State.
Missouri State will have one of the most loaded wide receiving rooms in the country in the 2022 season. The Bears return FCS All-American Tyrone Scott after his explosive 2021 season with 1,055 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. Toney will join Minnesota transfer Larry Wright III, Cincinnati transfer Jordan Jones, and Houston transfer Raylen Sharpe as some new faces in the wide receiver room for the Bears. Toney brings excellent separation, speed, and explosiveness to the wide receiving room for the Bears and should find immediate playing time next season. Toney and Scott should be one of the top duos in the country at the wide receiver position and could make quarterback Jason Shelley one of the favorites for the Walter Payton Award.
Missouri State opens the 2022 season on the road against Central Arkansas on September 1st before taking on UT-Martin in a rematch from the 1st Round of the 2021 FCS Playoffs.