Photo by Bill Carter.
"When will then be now?" "Soon."
Camp starts on Thursday, August 2. CAMP STARTS ON THURSDAY. One of Missouri's most anticipated football seasons ever is right around the corner, and it's time to start talking about it a bit more.
Today's discussion topic as we head off for a family fun day of sorts: which incoming freshman are you most excited about tracking during two-a-days? Which are you most hoping will have a great August and butt their way into the rotation? And no, you're not allowed to say Dorial Green-Beckham. Everybody in the world will be following him uncomfortably closely already.
Here's the list of freshmen eligible for this conversation:
- Quarterback: #7 Maty Mauk (6'2, 200)
- Running Back: #32 Russell Hansbrough (5'9, 180), #36 Morgan Steward (5'11, 185)
- Wide Receiver: #16 Levi Copelin (6'2, 180)
- Tight End: #80 Sean Culkin (6'5, 225), #82 Brandon Holifield (6'5, 215)
- Offensive Line: #77 Evan Boehm (6'3, 290), #76 Jordan Williams (6'4, 270)
- Defensive End: #95 Rickey Hatley (6'4, 245)
- Defensive Tackle: #90 Harold Brantley (6'2, 280), #50 Evan Winston (6'3, 270)
- Linebacker: # 11 Torey Boozer (6'3, 210), #41 Donavin Newsom (6'2, 220), #58 Michael Scherer (6'2, 230)
- Cornerback: #13 John Gibson (5'10, 175)
- Safety: #29 Ka'Ra Stewart (5'10, 190), Chaston Cuffee (6'1, 185)
I've got three answers, and they are probably rather predictable: Brantley, Stewart, Hansbrough/Steward, in order.
Missouri needs a fourth defensive tackle pretty badly. Assuming full health from Sheldon Richardson, Lucas Vincent and Matt Hoch, that is a decent threesome, but they will wear down if a fourth option isn't available. Maybe it's a healthy Marvin Foster. Maybe it's a potential late-career-surge guy like Jimmy Burge or George White. But I would love, love, love if Brantley or Evan Winston were to come in and blow by some names on the depth chart. Brantley has been one of the enigmas of the recruiting class so far: he was Mizzou's lowest-rated recruit (the only two-star signee in the class according to Rivals), but upon signing, he earned more praise than anybody in the class not named Green-Beckham or Boehm. He has "diamond in the rough" written all over him, but now it's time for him to prove it.
Meanwhile, a surge by Stewart or Cuffee would ease my mind about the safety position a decent amount as well. And while I love Kendial Lawrence and really love Marcus Murphy, most of us are expecting that a true freshman will likely end up in the mix at running back, if only for third-down-back opportunities.