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Injury slowed Jason Reese’s 2015 progress. Is 2016 his big year?

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NCAA Football: South Carolina at Missouri Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Reese

6’5, 250, RSJr.

Euless, TX
2015: 27 targets, 15 catches (56%), 126 yards (4.7 per target)
2014: 3 targets, 1 catch (33%), 12 yards (4.0 per target)

davidcmorrison: If #TightEndPassGame is going to be anything more than just a gag hashtag this season, Reese has the best bet of making it so.

He can get downfield better and more consistently than Culkin and, though that has yet to manifest itself in any Gronk-like numbers, it’s a powerful weapon to have in the arsenal.

Under Heupel (one would assume), you’re going to have to block to see the field as a tight end, and Reese has shown development in that category. But he’s still, primarily, a pass-catching option, as his 66 percent of snaps split wide last season (compared to 56 percent for Culkin) attest.

Oscar Gamble: Jason Reese essentially split time with Culkin last year and looked to be coming into his own before tweaking his knee and before the entire Missouri offense fell apart. Reese is a solid blocker and, in my opinion, a better athlete than Culkin. He seems to make more plays in space and on the move, and he is able to attack different parts of the field. He is another guy I’ve heard people say has next-level potential.

Pboggs: I think Reese has potential to be a serious tight end threat to defenses, specifically as a pass catcher. He seems to get open a lot easier than Culkin, he shows good push when blocking, and he provides a good option for down field blocking. I would expect Reese to be the go-to tight end this season, unless Culkin changes his level of play.

Sam Snelling: Jason Reese, like Culkin, has had his moments. At this point can we really expect him to make a big impact when we haven’t seen evidence Missouri will turn to the tight ends enough for them to be big time players in the offense. If Reese can provide good blocking at the point of attack, and make the catches when he’s given the opportunity, he’ll be enough of an asset for the Tigers this season.

TheRonDavis: Jason Reese has gone a good job in his first couple of years in Columbia, but I think it’s fair to say we’re waiting from him to take the next step. He’s versatile enough in his blocking and receiving to warrant heavily playing time in the fall. I think Sean Culkin is the starter, but when he’s not on the field, Reese will need to take advantage. Tentatively, Culkin is No. 1, but that can change as the season progresses.

Bill C.: I can’t decide if I think Reese is better than Culkin because he’s better or because he’s simply a year younger and therefore has more time to grow.

(I just looked it up and realized that I said something very similar last year: “For some reason I just trust Reese a little more as a receiver. It might simply be because I have a pretty decent read for Culkin's upside, and Reese is more unknown.” It’s fun going a full year without gaining any sort of clarity.)

It was exciting to see him starting to break out against Kentucky and South Carolina — combined: nine catches, 87 yards, and exactly the kind of efficiency option Mizzou otherwise did not have — but some combination of injury and ineffectiveness set him back. If it’s more the former, maybe he really is due to have a lovely year. If it’s more the latter, we don’t know that anything will change.

Regardless, he did kind of have two good games in a row last year. You can’t hardly say that about any other offensive player, including Drew Lock. That makes him Missouri’s version of “proven.”

Jason Reese Derrick Forsythe (Rock M Nation)