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A new year, a new Mizzou Football team

With the start of fall camp, expectations are high for Barry Odoms Tigers.

NCAA Football: Liberty Bowl-Missouri vs Oklahoma State Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

It me. Your resident basketball analyst turned site manager here to talk about football!

I did want to lead with that because while I’m not completely out of my element talking about football, most of you just aren’t used to it from me. And that’s ok. We’re here to grow and learn together.

But if you’re read (and listened) to this space for at least the last five years you’ve known I’m not shy to share an opinion on a sport I follow but rarely write about. The rhythm of the original version of RockMRadio involved me and a certain Jack Peglow and we often talked about the gridiron, so I’m not completely new to this.

But here’s the thing, I’m a big Mizzou Football fan. I’m also as excited for this season than any season since I’ve been on this site, and probably as excited for a season since 2008. This version of the Tigers, led by Kelly Bryant and head coach Barry Odom, feels different than the last few years, and it’s not just the Marching Band Video.

There’s an unbridled excitement and confidence around the program. It seems to come out in bits and pieces but it’s there. There’s the renewed energy and excitement in recruiting, the buzz surrounding the arrival of Bryant, the returning of so many impact players from a year ago.

While the reason for optimism lies largely in the returning starters there are some camp battles to keep an eye on. Here are a couple I’ll be watching:

Left Guard: Larry Borom vs Case Cook

Both sophomores, Borom and Cook are listed as —or— starters right now at the position. Borom is probably the more natural fit for the position — he’s 6’5 and 340 lbs FFS — while Cook might be a little better fit for the backup center position now that Jonah Dubinski has medically retired. Cook is a versatile interior lineman with excellent athleticism so he can fit in any position. Can he overtake Borom?

NCAA Football: Missouri at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Outside Wide Receiver: Johnathan Nance, Kam Scott, Jalen Knox... others

Nance, the grad transfer senior, probably has the upper hand for one spot due to his experience and speed but both Knox and Scott had big moments last season but Knox dealt with a concussion and Kam Scott dealt with inconsistency and both could leave the door open for some youth to step in. Missouri pursued some younger wide receivers who are held in high regard in C.J. Boone and Maurice Massey. Can the young guns do enough to see the field in year one?

Defensive End: Trajan Jeffcoat, Chris Turner, Tre Williams, Sci Martin, etc

There’s a lot here but the Tigers have to find a way to get heat on the quarterback after a lot of years of not quite being good enough on the outside of the d-line. The interior looks strong again but if Akial Byers is seeing a lot of time on the end I’m not sure that’s a good sign for the above mentioned as getting the job done.

Outside Linebacker: ...

Outside of Cale Garrett there are a lot of really good prospects and I’m just excited to watch these guys play. Nick Bolton, Chad Bailey, Aubrey Miller, Jamal Brooks... linebackers are fun.

I guess Punter too... I don’t expect Tucker McCann to be the best option but if he is then okay. But camp is officially underway and I’m excited we get to talk about it. In the next few days the preseason coverage will kick off in earnest complete with THREE MORE new and exciting names to our own roster.