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A 2009 Walkthrough: Running Backs

Incoming

Missouri has not yet gotten commitments from any running backs in this class.

Potential Incoming

Here's where the 2009 Mizzou running back stable becomes a huge wildcard. With a month to go before Signing Day, it is completely unknown what kind of impact freshmen might or might not be donning black and gold this summer.

Bryce Brown (6'0, 215, Wichita, KS)

Honestly, I probably shouldn't put him on this list. He visited Columbia a while back and said all sorts of complimentary things about the team and his desire to be a Jeremy Maclin-type of back...but a few weeks later he also said he was still a solid Miami commit. Mizzou's opportunity to nail this guy down likely came and went (if it truly came at all), but rumors are still flying around as to how solid he is in his Miami commitment, so I'll naively keep him on the list right up until Signing Day.

Ronnie Wingo (6'3, 210, St. Louis)

Ronnie Wingo's recruitment has been extremely interesting for two main reasons:

  1. Nobody seems to have a freaking clue as to what position he should play. He was a RB in high school, but honestly with his size and speed he could turn into a pretty interesting RB, WR, TE, LB, or DB. I think I see him most naturally turning into a 6'3, 225-pound Sean Weatherspoon clone at LB, but since he still seems to hold a slight preference for playing offense (and returning kickoffs), I'm putting him on this list.
  2. He still hasn't committed to Mizzou yet, and nobody has a good idea why. At first, it was thought that his parents might be influencing him to go elsewhere, but recently it seems they've given him the Mizzou go-ahead. Arkansas fans are all sorts of optimistic about his upcoming official visit to Fayetteville, and Gabe at PM has been saying for a while that Arkansas is a huge wildcard in the race. If he's not committed to Arkansas by next Monday morning, the odds of him becoming a Tiger are quite high. What Mizzou does with him if they get him in black and gold, nobody knows.

Stepfan Taylor (5'11, 205, Mansfield, TX)

A personal favorite of mine for quite a while now, Kenji Jackson's best bud from high school has been committed to Stanford since late summer. However, there's a buzz that he may still visit Mizzou if it looks like he may not qualify at Palo Alto. I don't want to root for the kid to not get great grades or a high test score, but I would be thrilled to see him in a Mizzou jersey next August. It's easy to be impressed with a kid's high school highlight film (see link above), but his has been more impressive than most. He's an oustanding combination of size, speed, and quickness. I guess I shouldn't get my hopes up too much here.

Kendial Lawrence (5'9, 180, Rockwall, TX)

Lawrence really came into his own his senior year at Rockwall-Heath, winning Texas District 10-4A Player of the Year honors and finding a ton of late offers coming his way. A lot of folks thought he was a strong Mizzou lean a few weeks ago, but he's played things so close to the vest that nobody knows for sure. Of the names on this list, I'd say he's the second most likely Tiger behind Wingo, but who knows? Lawrence fits the mold of a De'Vion Moore/Marcus Woods/Tony Temple/Jimmy Jackson type--short with strong legs and nice quickness. He was something of a late bloomer, but he would be a great pickup for Mizzou.

2008 vs 2009

The only departure from the Mizzou backfield is Jimmy Jackson, and while I loved #1 to death, it's not out of the realm of possibility that De'Vion Moore can match JJ's production. If that's the case, and if Derrick Washington is healthy and makes the typical improvement from his first year starting to his second, the Mizzou RB corps could be as strong as it's been under Gary Pinkel. And nothing settles down a young starting QB faster than a solid running game.

2009 Mizzou RBs on the YouTubes

Derrick Washington

De'Vion Moore

Drew Temple

Nothing on YouTube, but here's a Rivals highlight video if you're a subscriber.