Marcell Frazier (6'5, 265, RS So.)
Fullback U: Marcell "The Shell" Frazier is playing his way into contention for a starter's job ahead of Walter Brady and has three years to play three at Mizzou. That sets up well for the defensive line's depth in the coming years.
Frazier has the size and speed to play DE but will need to add some more muscle to become an every-down end in the SEC. I thought it was interesting how he had bypassed Brady by the second scrimmage despite the praise Kuligowski and coaches were heaping on Brady. But I think he brings a more explosive, attacking style to the position.
The Beef: One of two new faces at end, and the one which I expect to see the field. In more cases than I think we realize, it is a tall task for a JUCO to make an immediate impact on a team, but we are looking for just that from Frazier.
AlaTiger: I can’t stop calling him Marcell the Shell. Unlike the goofy Jenny Slate character, he has impressive size, which I expect he’ll leverage into immediate playing time. Even though he’s a JUCO, he’s still a sophomore. So, for those of you counting, that's two third-year players, three second-year players (all redshirted), and one true freshman. Did I mention this was a really young position group?
Bill C.: It is incredibly common with JUCOs: fans immediately assume instant impact, and it rarely actually happens. I look at signing JUCOs as a useful depth maneuver, but it really, really would help if Marcell Frazier was awesome out of the gates. (He was No. 2 behind DeSean Blair on my "It'd be awesome if he were awesome" list.)
Frazier seems to have surprised the coaches a bit with how quickly he's adapted and moved up the depth chart. Maybe that's a good sign of things to come. He certainly seems to have the "savage" attitude that Craig Kuligowski preaches.
Nate Howard (6'4, 230, Fr.)
The Beef: I was certainly excited to see Nate Howard’s recruitment ultimately come around to Mizzou in the end. I think there is some great potential here, but I also don’t think we start to see it until after a redshirt season. But a 6’4, 250-pound Nate Howard as a redshirt freshman next year? Yeah … that could play.
AlaTiger: Redshirt, learn, lift.
Fullback U: When I say I think Nate Howard is a candidate to play as a freshman it's based purely on how impressive he looks coming attacking the backfield off the snap. He's got a great first step and already has solid size. It will be a matter of learning technique and system for him that determines how quickly he sees the field.
Bill C.: I do assume he ends up redshirting, but he's evidently making it more of a question than we originally expected. Obviously you probably don't become an every-down end at 230 pounds, but if he's got a better first step than those ahead of him, he might have a chance to play a role sooner than we expected.