Signing Day Speculation: Who Sees the Field in 2012?

So, it looks like Mizzou is going to sit tight with this class of 18 signees.

Evan Boehm OL 6-3 290

Torey Boozer LB 6-3 210

Harold Brantley DL 6-2 260

Levi Copelin WR 6-2 170

Chaston Cuffee DB 6-1 185

Sean Culkin TE 6-5 226

John Gibson DB 5-10 175

Markus Golden (JC) LB 6-3 240

Dorial Green-Beckham WR 6-6 220

Russell Hansbrough TB 5-8 173

Rickey Hatley DL 6-4 245

Maty Mauk QB 6-2 185

Donavin Newsom LB 6-2 220

Michael Scherer LB 6-2 230

Morgan Steward TB 5-11 182

Ka'Ra Stewart DB 5-10 190

Jordan Williams OL 6-4 250

Evan Winston DL 6-3 260

(Not listed, Texas transfer Darius White.)

So the question to you is: barring injury, academic issues, current players transferring out, etc. who from this class seems likely to play right away as part of the offensive or defensive rotation?

Near Locks -- Green-Beckham (WR)

Obviously, barring the unforeseen, DGB will play. It's possible he doesn't start game one, but he will be in the rotation. I don't see another no-doubt contributor on paper from this group. Think about that. Despite disappointments about players who signed elsewhere (e.g., Hines, Ray, Meador, et al.), this is the #33 ranked class and we can legitimately expect only one guy to command playing time from day one.

Good Bets -- Sean Culkin (TE), Marcus Golden (LB)

Tight end seems wide open. In fact, we may see more traditional in-line play from that position than we have under Yost. So Culkin should have opportunities to move up the depth chart.

Linebacker has a lot of depth. We have presumptive starters Wilson, Ebner, and Gooden. We also have some players who have put in their time on special teams, like Ruise and Brothers. Still, my suspicion is that Steck may rotate more guys in at that position which could create some opportunity. Golden was a big time recruit at one point, and historically Pinkel has brought in quality over quantity from the JUCO ranks.

Scheer could break into this group, but I think he'll be a guy they want to redshirt.

Wildcards -- Evan Boehm (G/C)

The only reasons Boehm is here is that he's a top 100 player and Mizzou has a history of getting snaps for linemen early in their careers. However, I look at the offensive line depth and it's hard to see room for Boehm unless someone gets hurt (heaven forbid).

Special Teams Only -- Anyone (but not everyone) else

The emphasis on the kicking game is one legitimate difference--in my opinion--between the Big 12 and the SEC. There is a LOT of halo effect about SEC speed and all that. But if there is one place I see a noticeable difference in actual overall talent (and not just distribution of talent) it is on kick coverage and returns. Almost everyone uses starters, but they also put some serious underclass talent on the field in the kicking game. In no small part this is because so many offenses are so conservative they MUST seize any opportunity to flip field position.

A number of guys in this class will have opportunities to contribute on special teams in coverage/blocking (e.g., Boozer, Newsome, Scheer, Hatley, Stewart) or as returners (e.g., Steward, Hansbrough). That's almost impossible to know right away. But, a good number of these signees look like they need a year or so in the system and in the weight room before they can contribute as part of the rotation on offense or defense.

FanPosts may be posted by any RMN member and may not reflect the views of the management staff of Rock M Nation or SB Nation.

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