Johnathon Johnson (5'10, 175, Fr.)
Bill C.: Internet rumbles are not something to take too seriously ... but it became pretty hard to avoid them this summer as it pertained to Johnathon Johnson. The freshman from Memphis was constantly mentioned as a standout freshman, polished and just strong enough to take advantage of his flashy, speedy style. The buzz hasn't stopped since fall camp began. He's probably not a threat to start just yet, but he could make a pretty quick impact at Mizzou, either as a No. 4 or 5 receiver or as a return man. And if he does end up redshirting, that will simply delay the impact, not negate it altogether.
Johnson had probably my favorite film of any of Mizzou's incoming freshman WRs. He's got a little bit of attitude, a little bit of showboat in him, and while I expect the coaches to tamp down the latter, they'll be able to build off the former.
The Beef: Here starts the run of freshman, of which I would hope and love to see one earn a decent amount of playing time. Both Johnson and Richaud Floyd came off as real burners when I watched their recruiting film. I think Johnson may be the smallest of the group, and who knows if he has some chances on special teams as a retuner.
Fullback U: I think he’s probably destined to be a Marcus Murphy-type special teams ace along with seeing time at slot receiver. It’s too early to tell with a lot of these freshman, but of the group I think Emanuel Hall, Richaud Floyd or Johnathan Johnson are the top freshman options to play in 2015.
Emanuel Hall (6'3, 200, Fr.)
The Beef: If you have Nate Brown, J'Mon Moore, Wesley Leftwich and Eric Laurent providing some reps, a couple of the redshirt freshmen stepping up, and two to three tight ends catching balls, then adding a frosh here (if for no other reason than to spread one out from the rest a bit) has some value. However, I have no idea who of the group might be the one to earn it. I think Hall may have a bit of a tougher road, because though he might be one of the more refined folks, his frame seems pretty similar to a number of folks out there. It might work to his detriment here.
Fullback U: Several coaches have been high on Emanuel Hall’s combination of size and route-running and he looks like one of the promising players coaches refer to when they suggest several freshman could see the field this fall. I think he’ll end up at the Z-receiver position.
Bill C.: It's hard not to think of Bud Sasser when you both watch Emanuel Hall and take note of his measurables. Sasser didn't have one standout skill but succeeded because he also didn't really have any weaknesses. He was big enough to break some hand tackles, fast enough to create some separation, etc.
Hall appears to be in the same boat. Unlike Johnson or Floyd, you don't have to wonder whether he's big enough to survive just yet. He is. Meanwhile, while he's not an outright burner, he has a chance to be fast and polished enough to see the field earlier than some of his classmates, even if others have more upside. If we wanted to go down the "ceilings vs. floors" road again, Hall seems to have the highest floor of the bunch.
Richaud Floyd (5'11, 165, Fr.)
The Beef: If Hall might be precluded because his size is similar to other Mizzou receivers, I suppose that is where Floyd and/or Johnathon Johnson might have a small leg up in a race to see playing time as a freshman. They present a different type of receiver.
Fullback U: Another freshman who could see the field this fall based on what I’ve heard from camp.
Bill C.: When you sign a bunch of players in one unit, it's hard to get a read for each player's uniqueness right off the bat. But yeah, either Floyd or Johnson could stand out simply because they present a type of weapon that Mizzou doesn't otherwise have: the waterbug slot receiver with some wiggle. Whichever is actually the better receiver might be the first person to rip off the redshirt.
Justin Smith (6'7, 200, Fr.)
The Beef: The most intriguing of the prospects because of his measurables, but the one who I think has the smallest chance to see the field this year.
jaeger: That there is one tall wide receiver.
Bill C.: Dynamite drop-in, jaeger.
Fullback U: He is indeed very tall, but like the scouting reports have said, he is somewhat unpolished and reliant on his size vs. being technically adept. I do not think he’s a candidate for playing time based on what we’ve seen and heard so far during camp.
Bill C.: Smith is a good example of why I want recruiting rankings to move toward something of a two-rating system: current skill and potential. For example, Emanuel Hall might be a three-star in the former and a 3.5-star in the latter. Meanwhile, Smith is more of a two and a 4.5 or something. The former basketball player didn't commit to football until later in life, and he is therefore pretty raw. But the potential is undeniable.