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Three freshmen that could receive a more significant role against Vanderbilt

As Missouri prepares to take on its second half of the season while sitting at 2-4, the youth could receive larger roles.

Syndication: Columbia Daily Tribune
Sam Horn runs the football during practice.
Chris Kwiecinski/Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK

Heading into the Vanderbilt game, Missouri sits at 2-4, which was one of its worst-case scenarios. Missouri was a missed field goal away from stealing a win in Auburn, a possession away from beating Georgia, and put together a tough fight against the Gators in The Swamp. Unfortunately, moral victories don’t change the record. No matter how you look at it, Missouri is 2-4 and is going to have to play near-perfect football against a tough back half of the schedule to even be in bowl contention.

With the team sitting at 2-4, the question looms: “Should the youth get more action in preparation for the future?” While the answer is subjective and there is no true right answer, it would be nice to see at least some get some meaningful snaps. In fact, some already have! Mekhi Miller hauled in two monstrous receptions against Florida, and Isaac Thompson was added to the special teams unit as well. This week of practice during the bye week served as a great opportunity for the youth to get some experience and better understand the playbook. Given the record going into the second half of the season, as well as the given trajectory of the season in general, I’d expect to see some youth get some snaps this week. Here are three freshmen specifically that could see an uptick in their role against the Commodores.

Sam Horn

Let’s start with the fun one. Sam Horn was a four-star QB coming out of Collins Hill, Georgia. Horn ranked as the 15th best quarterback in the country according to 247sports and received numerous offers from high majorl Division One programs. Recently, conversations have been held about current quarterback Brady Cook’s performance, and whether or not other QBs need to see some significant snaps. Horn is likely the future of the program, so now would be an adequate time to get the freshman some valuable experience. Horn was not on campus during spring ball and that’s ok. Horn had a good week of practice this week according to Eli Drinkwitz, and even a series or two could help Horn immensely in the long run.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Missouri at Kansas State

Marquis Gracial:

Gracial is yet another four-star recruit from the heralded and record-setting 22’ class. Gracial is an intimidating presence, standing at 6’4, 310. Gracial is yet another freshman that Drinkwitz eluded to in his Tuesday press conference, where Drinkwitz showed recognition of good practices for the youngster. Gracial has not received many snaps this season, as he currently sits behind various upperclassmen. But, as previously mentioned, it may be time to see the youth show promise for the future.

DJ Wesolak:

DJ Wesolak was also a four-star out of high school, arriving from just 30 minutes away in Booneville. Wesolak was rated as the fourth-best player in the state and was one of the most sought-after pass rushers in the nation. Wesolak has battled some sickness and injury in his short time as a Tiger, but as he returns to good health, he could see his role increase sparingly over the next few weeks. The 6’4 freshman has made the transition from edge rusher, to outside linebacker, where he may be able to provide meaningful snaps as a backup. Wesolak was also noted as having a good week of practice, even making an impressive interception. If Wesolak can return to full health, there is no doubt that he could see the field very soon.