2013 Mizzou Walkthrough: Boehm is already the line's anchor

Bill Carter

Mizzou's most highly touted line recruit moves from guard to center and becomes the anchor of a scarred line looking to rebound.

Evan Boehm

#77 | 6'3, 315, So. | Lee's Summit, MO

2012: 12 starts, freshman All-American

Bill C.: On both the field and the recruiting trail, Mizzou has lost a lot of offensive linemen over the last couple of years. We've discussed the de-commitments of players like Simon Goines (a full-season starter for UCLA as a true freshman) and Germain Ifedi (a full-season second-stringer for Texas A&M as a true freshman) before, and we all know about the injuries -- how the projected 2012 starting five never actually saw the field at the same time, how all five members of that five (and a key backup) were all lost for various amounts of time. But through each type of loss, one name didn't go anywhere: Evan Boehm. Sure, he thought about going elsewhere in the fall of 2011, but he stuck to his original Mizzou commitment, signed in February 2012, and started every game during the frustrating 2012 season a few months later.

Under normal circumstances, playing as a true freshman on the line requires an advanced state, both mentally and physically. Only three OLs have played as true freshmen in Gary Pinkel's 12 seasons in charge, but Boehm was a no-brainer even before the injuries. He was a star recruit, overshadowed only by DGB in Mizzou's 2012 recruiting class, and considering his age, he lived up to the billing.

The main problem with last year, however, was that simply playing as a true freshman is different than starting every game and becoming the closest thing to an anchor on the line. Boehm wasn't ready for that -- almost no true freshman is going to be ready for that -- and he often struggled. The interior of the Mizzou line was punctured frequently, even later in the year when the tackles stabilized. The hope is that Boehm's growth wasn't stunted by struggle. Lord knows he's got talent, and lord knows the staff is showing a ton of trust in him, moving him to center and basically making him the captain of the line.

MizzouRugby: Be better at snapping than anyone last year. Don’t get hurt.

The Beef: I dont think his move to center is a bad one at all, and he will hopefully bring a solid amount of stability to the line for many years to come.

countrycal: As I said in my discussion of the OL coach – I think Evan has the most important job on the field simply because he touches the ball first. Every offensive play begins with him, and if it does not begin right then the play is not likely to produce maximum output. We have had one all-conference center after another since GP came to town. That being the case, we simply did not realize how disastrous it can be to play quality defenses with one of our quarterback’s hands tied behind his back due to poor snaps – that was just not in our playbook. Nor should it be. Any successful play must start with a timely, accurate exchange between the center and the quarterback. That has been the way it has happened each year until last year. I truly believe the loss of Travis Ruth hurt us more than any of the other losses, though the number of OL injuries finally trumped the season. Evan Boehm is a man among men, and a highly mental and highly skilled athlete. I foresee three years of successful exchange ratios and, thus, a fast, athletic offense that is going to stun the SEC. The move of Evan Boehm to center was absolutely coaching genius and is going to be the catalyst to Mizzou’s return to the Top 25 and quality bowl consideration.

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