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For the 2nd straight year, Missouri will rely on a freshman in special teams

Hey, it worked pretty well with Corey Fatony...

Tucker McCann

Corey Fatony

5’11, 185, So.

Franklin, TN
2015: 81 punts, 42.9 average, 28 fair catches, 26 inside 20; 1 rush, 26 yards

Sam Snelling: Arguably the most important player for Mizzou’s offense last season, Fatony proved he can be a big-time punter. Let’s just hope that this year he has to punt less.

Pboggs: Great name and great game. He proved the importance of a punter last year.

Oscar Gamble: Corey Fatony is an elite punter and a great athlete. If it weren’t for his missing left pectoral muscle I think he’d be playing running back or receiver. Remember when he booted that 70-yard punt in practice as a freshman, then followed it up with 81 punts in a season?

Bill C.: This really might have been the saddest line in my SBN Mizzou preview:

Perhaps the single saddest thing about Missouri's pathetic offensive showing in 2015 was that it even wore the punter out. Corey Fatony performed tremendously for a true freshman, but he was asked to put an astounding 81 times, despite playing only 12 games and despite a plodding tempo. And down the stretch, there was a clear drop-off. Through eight games he was averaging 44.6 yards per punt; in the last four games: 39.5.

Mizzou punted so much, its punter got tired. Guh. Regardless, he was good at it, and opponents only got a shot at returning 24 of his 81 punts. Hell of a weapon.

Tucker McCann

6’0, 185, Fr.

O’Fallon, IL

Pboggs: McCann was a big get for Mizzou in this last recruiting cycle. He was recruited heavily by several top programs, one of which was Alabama (insert Kick Six reference here). It’s hard to project how a kicker will do in college, as so much of their skill set lies between their ears. With above average kicking stats from high school, I would expect and hope for a Baggett-like career.

Sam Snelling: Nothing like landing a top kicking prospect over basically everyone. McCann will likely be the guy over the next four years, right?

Oscar Gamble: Barry Odom is #blessed to walk into a great special teams situation that includes landing a #1 overall kicker from O’Fallon, Illinois. Kicking isn’t sexy, and settling for field goals is usually disappointing for fans, but Tucker McCann’s ability on kickoffs will be a huge benefit for Missouri for the next four years.

Bill C.: I’ve officially seen Tucker McCann attempt one kickoff, and it was at the start of the 2016 Black & Gold Game. His motion was effortless, and his kick sailed out of the end zone on the fly. I will officially be disappointed if he ever kicks something that isn’t a touchback.

That said ... I will remain nervous as hell about having a freshman place-kicker until we actually see him make a kick or two. Kickers don’t usually come more well-regarded than him, but you never know how a guy’s going to kick in front of 60,000 people until he’s asked to do so. Fingers crossed.

Jake Hurrell

6’3, 235, Sr.

St. Peters, MO

Pboggs: All we can ask for from Hurrell is consistency... and consistency. This is not a position we can afford mistakes, especially if we keep games close.

Sam Snelling: There’s a third kicker? What happened to that JUCO punter from last year? There are currently 6 guys listed on the roster as a “Kicker” so why is Hurrell the only one we’re talking about? I wanna know more about Nick Bartolotta who is listed at 5’6 and 185! Oh wait, Hurrell is the long snapper! That’s right. He did a good job last year, I don’t remember long snapping being a problem. Let’s hope it continues.

Oscar Gamble: His last name rhymes with “hurl,” and that’s what he does with the ball so talk about nominative determinism. Unlike Missouri’s center-quarterback exchanges, I can’t recall there ever being a problem with the redshirt senior. Hurrell has clearly earned his stripes.

Bill C.: The best compliment you can pay to a long-snapper is forgetting his name. You only remember it if something bad has happened, and Hurrell has been wonderfully forgettable so far in his career.