Throughout the remainder of the offseason, I’ll be putting a spotlight on one returning player and one newcomer at each position who’s generally intriguing for the 2022 season. There are plenty of avenues of thought when it comes to who you may think is most interesting, so feel free to share your opinion down below in the comments!
Returning: RB Elijah Young
Elijah Young came into the year with high expectations as it was thought that he could command more work out of Missouri’s backfield in 2021. Then, Tyler Badie came along and put the Tigers on his back by commanding pretty much all of the touches, and turned the other backs on the roster into depth that could spell him for the moment. Young would get 37 carries, but could only muster 166 yards on the ground while failing on a few short yardage opportunities in the earlier portion of the season.
However, when Tyler Badie was pulled from Missouri’s bowl game, Elijah Young finally had his chance to shine.
He ran the ball well, showing nice vision and the ability to make the right cut at the right time. Though the bowl loss was disappointing, one of the bright sides was what Young’s performance meant and how we were now seeing some of his limitless potential begin to shine through the cracks.
Young will be part of, and possibly be leading the backfield for Missouri in 2022. With another year with the strength staff, and simply more practice reps, he’s got a chance to be the feature back for a Missouri offense which in two years under Eli Drinkwitz has shown that they’ll feed their running back plenty of touches.
Newcomer: RB Tavorus Jones
The recruitment of Tavorus Jones is a notable one. Missouri has in the past, and now currently recruits the state of Texas. When you think of their recruitment of Texas though, it’s usually the ole tried and true, two and three star players that get slept on by their home state school. With Jones though, that’s not the case. He’s a highly rated four star prospect, from a major Texas city, with an offer from every division one school in the state in addition to Alabama, Michigan and USC.
... and then he chose Mizzou.
His commitment is a testament to Drinkwitz and his staff truly developing relationships with kids in different places and fighting amongst the big boys of the nations elite to get a big prize.
There was a reason his offer list was as long as it was, and it’s because Tavorus Jones is SEC ready, right now.
When you turn on the film, you can see right away what his elite trait is and it’s speed. Here’s the thing about that speed: He’s so fast that he doesn’t have to really show very much in his game. He’s so physically gifted, and can change direction extremely well but because he’s so fast, he never really has to juke because he’s already turned it into a straight line sprint.
All of that is why he’s a candidate for early playing time next year. There’s a vacancy, and he’s got the skills to at least compete for a spot in the running back rotation. This offense has the potential to add another element of explosion with Jones in it.