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Samson Bailey’s first collegiate snap could be as Mizzou’s starting center

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Three young returnees could join the Missouri offensive line rotation this fall, though two (AJ Harris, Tanner Owen) are working through injury issues at the moment. Samson Bailey could earn a chance to become Mizzou’s starting center for the next three years.

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Samson Bailey

6’4, 290, So.

Lamar, MO

Oscar Gamble: It seems like Bailey’s playing center, having moved ahead of Alec Abeln and AJ Harris for the starting position.

It’s a bit scary to think about breaking in a new center, and the accompanying QB-center exchanges, particularly after the departure of the standout Evan Boehm.

He does have an excellent name for an offensive lineman, so let’s hope he’s strong enough to hold up against SEC defenses that will line up massive nose tackles over him.

TheRonDavis: Samson Bailey looks a little on the lean side for an SEC lineman, but he got in some games last year. Abeln has more experience under his belt, but all spots on the offensive line are up for grabs.

Bill C.: Bailey is following the Justin Britt model — small-town Missouri product who started out undersized and slowly filled in. Like Britt, it appears he can play a few different positions too.

So, uh, now he just has to be as good as Britt, and Mizzou is set.

It took him a couple of years to completely fill in, but he said he’s up to 290 now, and that’s perfectly big enough for a center. But Boehm certainly set a high bar for competence in all acts of centerness, from strength to vocality to smarts.

AJ Harris

6’4, 285, RSFr.

Stilwell, KS

Oscar Gamble: If he can recover from his wrist surgery, he might a beast on the interior, but as of now it’s limited his ability to snap the ball as a center and, really, just function as a lineman. I think he has serious upside if he can get healthy, but I wonder if he can by September.

TheRonDavis: I think Harris has a lot of potential, and his four-star status out of high school indicates that. Not sure he’ll be ready to play at the level he wants to this year.

Sam Snelling: Harris came in with all the accolades, so if he’s able to stay healthy he’s a guy to watch out for being an impact lineman in the near future. He was a 4-star lineman coming out of high school, and you expect those guys to be difference makers. Harris will have his chances.

Tanner Owen

6’5, 280, RSFr.

Kearney, MO

Oscar Gamble: Going through some kind of medical issue. He was competing at left tackle behind Tyler Howell before getting held out.

TheRonDavis: I feel for Tanner Owen as he goes through a medical issue. When he committed I saw Justin Britt in him with the low ranking, Missouri kid, lean body. Hopefully he gets the treatment he needs and he’s healthy enough to play football as Missouri needs him. But there are some things that are more important if it’s serious.

Bill C.: We’ve made two Britt references with three linemen. We are a hopeful lot.

Get well soon, Tanner.