I probably should’ve arranged this piece sooner. It may have been a little less anti-climactic.
Every week, the Rock M Nation staff submits their MV3 ballots for the week, deciding which three Mizzou Football players most clearly showed their worth in the previous game. And at the end of the season, our team submits another ballot deciding which three players showed their worth over the course of the full season. It should be an occasion for celebration. Now, it’s a bit deflating. After all, who wants to see their season MVP leaving?
I suppose, though, the takeaway here should be that all three players on the list below were Associated Press All-SEC selections. Missouri isn’t in the position to expect that they’ll automatically place players on that list every year, so seeing at least three Tigers placed feels pretty good. And hey, they were obvious to us!
1. Dominic Lovett
Hmm. This is awkward.
There’s no denying the impact that Dominic Lovett’s sudden maturation had on Mizzou. Through the many weeks of struggling, Lovett remained a dominant force. He took the heat off of Luther Burden III, allowing the freshman room to grow throughout the year. And in the final weeks of the season as Mizzou charged to a bowl berth, Lovett showed that his production wasn’t a fluke. In the end, he appeared on every All-SEC team to date, garnering first team honors with the Associated Press.
His loss, despite the addition of Theo Wease, Jr. and the returning production of Burden, will be felt. But at least we had 2022!
2. Isaiah McGuire
Now that’s more like it.
McGuire was the feel good story of 2021, the little known guy on the other side of a First Team All-SEC selection in Trajan Jeffcoat. He was a three-star recruit from Tulsa with few Power Five offers... and he became the latest defensive end to excel in Columbia. The senior’s tackle total went down slightly in 2022, but his sack total went up by 2.5, and he forced two fumbles. As the anchor of a defense that saw massive improvement under Blake Baker, McGuire ended his time as a Tiger on a high note, garnering First Team honors in the AP’s All SEC squad.
3. Ty’Ron Hopper
For what it’s worth, this is the guy that got my first place vote. Too editorial? Don’t care, I’m writing it.
When Mizzou snagged Ty’Ron Hopper out of the portal from Florida last offseason, it felt like a move that would pay quick dividends. Even with those expectations, it would’ve been hard to foresee just how important Hopper would be to Mizzou’s defensive turnaround. The sophomore brought electric athleticism and tenacity to Mizzou’s linebacking corps, ranking second on the team in tackles, first in tackles for loss and QB hits, along with logging an interception, four pass breakups and a forced fumble. Hopper was arguably the most talented player on defense the second Mizzou kicked off against Louisiana Tech, and his Second Team All-SEC honors speak to his importance in the present and future of Mizzou Football.
Others receiving votes: Kris Abrams-Draine, Cody Schrader
Honorable Mention Votes: Luther Burden III, Daylan Carnell, Ennis Rakestraw, Jr., Kristian Williams
Agree with our season-long picks? Have some of your own? Tell us who your MV3 are in the comments or on Twitter!