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Projecting Mizzou’s Individual Stat Leaders For 2022

No, Luther Burden will not lead us in every category.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Central Michigan at Missouri Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On a team with no clear-cut stars (outside of Harrison Mevis), it becomes virtually anybody’s guess as to who will lead the team in the statistical department. Missouri fits that mold in 2022, so I tried my hand at picking the leaders in every major statistical category.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


Top 3 Contenders: Brady Cook, Tyler Macon, Sam Horn

My Pick: Brady Cook

Why: I’ll just go ahead and start by saying I’m a big Brady Cook fan. In very limited action last season, he showed me that he has the potential to be a reliable and efficient quarterback in the SEC. His ability to elude defenders and create with his feet gives him an edge to make up for his smaller stature, and I think a near-full offseason of running with the first team will make a world of difference for his development. If he can even come close to again completing 79% of his passes, then I think this will be a special season for Mr. Cook.

Projected Stats: 2,752 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 68% completion percentage

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


Top 3 Contenders: Elijah Young, Nathaniel Peat, Cody Schrader

My Pick: Elijah Young

Why: I like patterns, and I see one with Elijah Young following up Tyler Badie. Both were guys who waited their turns to be the focal point of the backfield, and both are versatile guys who are tough to take down in the open field.

The difference is that Badie’s biggest knock was his size, while Young’s will be if he can fend off some more hyped-up contenders. A running back by-committee approach seems most likely here, at least for the first couple weeks of the season, but I like Young to take control at some point and get the bulk of the carries by season’s end.

Projected Stats: 892 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns, 4.6 yards per carry

luther burden


Top 3 Contenders: Luther Burden, Dominic Lovett, Tauskie Dove

My Pick: Luther Burden

Why: I mean, it’s probably the easiest pick on here. By no means is that disrespect to a receiving corps that I actually believe to be incredibly deep and explosive, it is more of a compliment to Burden’s ability. The only thing coming in the way of this happening is injury, heaven forbid.

Although it was just a spring game, it showed me all I need to know in that Burden has physical gifts that will allow him to go toe-to-toe with any SEC defensive back. From his hands, to his catch radius, to his speed and strength, there is little to point at in terms of weaknesses. If he can avoid letting the hype get to his head and take care of his body, Burden will have a phenomenal freshman campaign.

Projected Stats: 793 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns, 17.23 yards per catch

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


Top 3 Contenders: Chad Bailey, Devin Nicholson, Martez Manuel

My Pick: Ty’Ron Hopper

Why: That’s right, my choice isn’t even one of the most likely options in my own eyes. Bailey and Nicholson are in the perfect position to do so as veteran linebackers, while Manuel has finished top 3 on the team in two straight seasons. Despite all of that, I’ll still take Hopper. I think he has the highest upside out of anybody on this defense minus Trajan Jeffcoat, and he is going to prove that early and often. I see him being a disruptive presence up front, the presence that this team missed early on last season.

Projected Stats: 94 tackles, 12 tackles for loss

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports


Top 3 Contenders: Trajan Jeffcoat, Ty’Ron Hopper, Isaiah Maguire

My Pick: Trajan Jeffcoat

Why: It’s now or never for Jeffcoat, and I think he will deliver with a bounce-back season. His 6’4”, 277 lb. frame hasn’t disappeared, and now with a little more help up front, he won’t be the focal point of every offensive line week-in and week-out. Health is again also a concern here, but I think the motivation to improve upon a lackluster 2021 campaign will power Jeffcoat into a strong showing in 2022.

Projected Stats: 8.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss

NCAA Football: Missouri at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


Top 3 Contenders: Jaylon Carlies, Joseph Charleston, Kris Abrams-Draine

My Pick: KAD

Why: There are a lot of intriguing options for this in the secondary. Martez Manuel is the proven vet, Charleston comes from a powerhouse with plenty of potential, and Carlies just led the team with four.

However, give me the guy who seems to just have a knack for making big plays and getting a hand on the ball. Kris Abrams-Draine was right behind Carlies with 3 INTs in 2021 but led the team with 7 pass breakups. I think that’ll lend to more interceptions this time around, and Draine will continue to be one of the most exciting players on this team.

Projected Stats: 4 interceptions, 8 pass breakups

*For you special team junkies, the question isn’t if Harrison Mevis will lead Mizzou in field’s if he’ll lead the country.