A Look Back...
The Tigers have a long, storied history of big, tall, and explosive receivers. Most of the best receivers in recent memory have all been bigger style receivers. Guys like Justin Cage, Danario Alexander and DGB are the first names to come to my mind, but it would be insulting and negligent not to mention guys like Emmanuel Hall, J’Mon Moore, Marcus Lucas, or L’Damian Washington. Regardless of your preferred big boy, it’s important to note that all of these guys are 6’3 or taller. they all had their own special traits that made them unique, and they all had a large frame to set them apart.
Some of the best offenses in Mizzou history come with these guys as primary receivers, but also a lot of overlap where there is two larger, big bodied receivers to cover.
L’Damian Washington and DGB wrecked secondaries in 2013, combining for 1,776 yards and 22 touchdowns. Oh yeah, and Marcus Lucas, at 6’4, had almost 700 yards.
J’Mon Moore and Emmanuel Hall were the two best receivers for what was a prolific offense for the 2017 Tigers, accounting for 1,899 yards and 16 touchdowns.
It pays to have multiple big bodies to go up and make tough catches, and that’s what a lot of these guys were known for.
As everyone is familiar, the Tigers took many steps to bolster their receiving corps this past off-season. They added two receivers in Keke Chism and Damon Hazelton, who are 6’4, and 6’3 respectfully. That should be a problem for opposing secondaries. It also seems that so far through camp, that these two are the expected starters. So whomever the quarterback may be, he should have multiple big-bodied receivers to throw to and they should be able to expand the catch radius for said QB1.
Just like the past though, having one big bodied receiver is good. Having two could mean special things for the offense. Their impact will be felt on every down but especially when the offense gets in 3rd down and medium, where receivers need to create separation and fight for the first down. But don’t forget the red zone! Last year, the Tigers were abysmal. They ranked 117th out of 130 FBS schools in red zone offense. The red zone efficiency certianly dried up once Albert O was gone, and none of the remaining receivers had the height/jumps to get those end zone fade routes that offenses love to throw. Both Hazelton and Chism have an advantage that isn’t just two big receivers, but two big receivers who have played college football and have snaps underneath their belt. When used appropriately, they could help raise the points per red zone trip of the Tiger offense and start closing drives effectively.
In the near future....
There are more big bodied guys on this roster who can step in and fill those roles in the years to come, or maybe even this year in the chance that an injury happens. Mizzou has many scholarship guys over 6’3, so many that I needed a list!
- CJ Boone
- Maurice Massey
- Micah Wilson
- J.J. Hester
- Tauskie Dove
Each of those guys (with the exception of Wilson) is a sophomore or younger. In theory, there should be plenty of bigger guys getting experience this year and learn from two seasoned vets so that when it’s their turn to shine they can offer the same sort of advantages that Chism and Hazelton offer as larger receivers.
This isn’t to say that none of the smaller receivers like Knox or Maclin can’t be better, but I was once told by a coach that “You can’t teach height.”
Mizzou has options. They can be a chameleon when it comes to who they want to play and what kind of looks they wanna give opposing defenses. However, Drinkwitz didn’t just bring two older, bigger receivers along to sit them on the bench. At NC State, all of his leading receivers were 6’2 or taller, so it leads me to believe that he likes that prototype. It makes me think he wants bigger guys on the field to stress DBs, where the average, according to the NCAA check, in just under 6’0. The bigger guys just give the offense a different dimension and the Tigers, especially after last season, could desperately use that on offense.