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Derek Dooley wants a blocking back, and Ronnell Perkins is lining up close to the line of scrimmage

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Tavon Ross & Ronnell Perkins
Tavon Ross (6) and Ronnell Perkins (3)
Derrick Forsythe / Rock M Nation

Our Tashan Reed was on hand for Mizzou’s first post-Spring Break practice, and he shared with you news of Tre Williams’ surgery and the latest jewels of folksy charm from Derek Dooley. Here are a few other tidbits gleaned from Devine Pavilion:

If it works, it’s called versatility.

And if it doesn’t work, it’s just a big shuffling mess.

Last year, freshmen Joshuah Bledsoe emerged in that role in passing situations for certain sub packages. This year, he’s getting additional looks at deep safety while Ronnell Perkins, traditionally a safety, gets some reps at SAM linebacker, putting him closer to the box or matched against slot receivers in certain scenarios.

Mizzou doesn’t have established playmakers at safety — Kaleb Prewett is off the roster while suspended — and the plan for now appears to be mixing and matching combinations for different packages until the best contenders surface among Bledsoe, Perkins, Cam Hilton, Tyree Gillespie and Jordan Ulmer. Christian Holmes, a natural corner, has gotten some work at nickelback and safety this spring, though he sat out some drills Tuesday and wore a red pullover.

Derek Dooley wants a blocking back.

Without a true fullback on the roster, Dooley alluded to putting one of Missouri’s four tight ends into the backfield as a hybrid. Alec Abeln, a former offensive lineman, played such a role at times last season.

That stable of tight ends — led by SEC all-freshman team selection Albert Okwuegbunam and including Kendall Blanton, Logan Christopherson and Brendan Scales — can be reliable aerial threats, too.

“They all have tools to be good receivers,” Dooley said. ... “We got another one coming in the fall (freshman Messiah Swinson) who’s got tools. It’s just a matter of what they can do consistently. We’ll figure that out over time.”

Construction’ll make the spring game kinda weird.

Missouri’s players will enter through the stadium entrances like fans because the tunnel they had run out of is now torn up. During the season, Missouri players will change for the game in trailers.

A spokesperson said Missouri might also only kick into the north end zone in the spring game to avoid punts or kickoffs winding up in the construction zone.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • Alright, let’s see if this game happens, or if cranky-ass Mother Nature gets another Mizzou Baseball game canceled. Right now, it appears the sun will be out today at least ... and the temperature might even top 40! (Seriously, though, I can’t remember another spring this gross.)
  • Mizzou has made the top five for everybody’s favorite Maine graduate transfer:
  • Blaine Gabbert’s youngest brother is going to be a RedHawk.