Terry Beckner Jr. (6'4, 300, Fr.)
The Beef: What does the injury to Howard Brantley do for the early career arc of Terry Beckner Jr.? With Brantley in there, I think most Mizzou fans hoped that Beckner would come to earn his way into the rotation as the No. 2 DT behind him. But how does Beckner respond to the potential pressure of the situation?
Let’s hope this young man is up to the challenge he likely faces. But it is pretty impressive when you are one of only two true frosh to make Mizzou's SEC Media Day depth chart.
switzy227: It’s so tough to determine how any freshman will do in college football. I would be happy to see Beckner playing in a rotation or special package. Ultimately, though, I think that’s the floor for Beckner this season due to the Brantley injury. Repeat after me: anything more is a bonus….anything more is a bonus….anything more is a bonus....
AlaTiger: Hype plus need increases the intensity of the spotlight on Beckner. Fans who expect a freshman miracle worker will very likely be disappointed. Early reports indicate that Beckner has the personality to ignore all that and focus on what he needs to do. Let’s hope so. A solid rotation contribution would be huge.
jaeger: Defensive line is a tough place to make an impact as an underclassman. There’s just such a huge leap forward in physical strength from high school to the SEC. Beckner’s a specimen, no question, and maybe he can defy the odds, but I’d expect him to see the field as part of a rotation, flash some greatness, but ultimately not seize a starting role.
Fullback U: Terry Beckner Jr., or as I have dubbed him, "Terry Wreckner Jr.", is probably the most high profile player on the defensive line based on his high recruiting ranking and Mizzou’s lack of depth at his position.
Beckner is a force. I initially thought he was less Sheldon Richardson and more Kony Ealy, a massive human being who can occupy blockers first, then rush the passer. The more I’ve seen of #79, the more I think he can do either.
He’s currently listed as the No. 2 DT behind Rickey Hatley, vaulting up to that position after beginning camp at the bottom. Barring injury, he will be one of several true freshmen who see playing time this fall, and he’s built like he can handle the role. The question will be if he can handle it for all four quarters and for an entire season.
Bill C.: I love how our natural inclination here is to take pressure off of true freshmen. We're not used to counting on first-year guys, and we're not used to one facing such high expectations right off the bat.
The most exciting thing I've read about Beckner in practice reports is the word "motor." As in, he's got a good one. To think about someone who's a cut 6'4, 300 (before spending time with Pat Ivey) and has a Michael Sam-esque motor ... well, that can give you starry eyes. Here's to hoping he's able to find a rhythm and a spot in the rotation early int he season, then develop into something greater down the line.