In Hoover, Ala., for the start of SEC Media Days, the Trib's David Morrison got his hands on a copy of Missouri's 2014 media guide. It contains what I'll call a rather interesting depth chart, one full of messages if nothing else. Click the link for the full list; here are some quick reactions.
No surprises here, at least compared to where things left off in the spring. It is the hope of many that Eddie Printz will eventually pass Corbin Berkstresser, simply because of pure upside (and, perhaps, Berkstresser's poor 2012 performance), but it didn't happen this spring. Berk did enough to hold on.
Again, no surprises here. Russell Hansbrough was listed ahead of Murphy Murphy all last year and in the beginning of spring, and he continues to be the presumed No. 1. It will be interesting to see if the rumors are true about Mizzou using Murphy both in and out of the backfield, but Hansbrough is the No. 1 pure back for now.
Depth charts are often ways for coaches to send messages to players they don't think are quite working hard enough. Message No. 1 goes to Levi Copelin, who was dumped to the No. 3 spot at Jimmie Hunt's slot receiver position. At the end of spring, Copelin was considered one of the favorites for the fourth spot when Mizzou goes four wide, and that could possibly still be the case. But he has to beat out walk-on Gavin Otte first. Otte had a lovely spring as well and is currently ahead of him on the chart.
Other than Nate Crawford re-joining the offensive line after a stint at defensive tackle, there isn't much going on here. The presumed starters for A.J. Ricker's first stint as Mizzou OL co-coach -- Mitch Morse, Anthony Gatti, Evan Boehm, Mitch Hall, and Connor McGovern -- are still the presumed starters.
Markus Golden and Shane Ray starting, with Marcus Loud and Charles Harris on the second string. Just as we saw in spring.
Message No. 2 goes to Harold Brantley, who currently finds himself buried on the fourth string at nose guard. There was a lot of talk about using the sophomore from Pennsylvania at both end and tackle this fall, but after spending quite a bit of time on the third string this spring, he's fallen even further. He's got a world of potential, but apparently he needs a bit of focus.
Message No. 3 goes to senior Darvin Ruise. He was an assumed contender for the vacant starting SLB job, but he is currently the No. 3 WLB behind both Kentrell Brothers and redshirt freshman Joey Burkett. Things can and will change, but right now the SLB battle is between sophomore Donavin Newsom and junior Clarence Green.
Ernest Payton's departure cleared up some space on the two-deep, and right now juniors Kenya Dennis and David Johnson hold the second-string edge on freshman Logan Cheadle, who was in for spring. The starters (John Gibson, Aarion Penton) are obvious.
One of the most interesting battles heading into August could be between Ian Simon and Duron Singleton for starting strong safety alongside Braylon Webb. Simon holds the No. 1 spot right now, with Singleton listed as Webb's backup. And redshirt freshmen Anthony Sherrils and Shaun Rupert appear to have eased ahead of sophomore Chaston Webb on the third string.