Missouri returns a good amount of experience to an offensive line that played at a serviceable level in 2021. In 2022, things look to be heading in a good direction, however there are a few things to iron out first. Lets run down the positions and where Missouri looks to be there.
At Center, it looks like we’ll have a good camp competition between Bence Polgar and Connor Tollison. I made this note during our roundtable this week, but Polgar has starting experience and will be going into his third season in a collegiate system. The things that he was asked to do at Buffalo last season, will be pretty similar to what he does this year too. Tollison is the young guy and has plenty of skill, so if it’s close... I’d personally lean towards the young guy. However, that may not be the philosophy of the head coach. He may want the guy who has seen a bit more and is more of a sure thing.
At the guard spots, you likely have a combination of Connor Wood, Xavier Delgado and Luke Griffin. Between all three of those options, you have older players who have been on college campuses for three to four years at this point. All have at least 6 games of starting experience as well. The interior will have two guys who can start and preform, as well as a proven super sub who can spell either guy in the event of an emergency.
There is much more behind those three guys though. EJ Ndoma-Ogar returns after getting sparse snaps in 2021. Armand Membou comes in as a potential impact freshman. Drake Heismeyer could also find himself in that mix of secondary guys who are fighting for space on the depth chart.
At tackle, there is a bit more cloudiness.
Javon Foster comes into 2021 with a lot of hype after a really nice 2020 season. He figures to hold down the left tackle spot and work towards improving his draft stock. With a good season, Foster could easily be a mid round pick. That’s the good part.
The bad part, was the Coach Drinkwitz announced last week at SEC Media Day that senior tackle Hyrin White will miss “some portion of the beginning parts of the season” with the knee injury that kept him out of spring practice.
INJURY UPDATES:— KOMU 8 Sports (@KOMUsports) July 18, 2022
Coach Drink gives update on #Mizzou football current health status.
Daniel Robledo and Hyrin White both significant losses in the trenches for at least part of the season. pic.twitter.com/dps5sfviJJ
He didn’t specify what a timeline would look like for White’s return, but any extended period of time where he isn’t receiving the snaps at tackle is not a good thing for the Missouri offense.
They have options to slide into his spot, namely Zeke Powell, who filled in for White in 2020 when he missed the season. He figures to be involved in some capacity. Missouri signed offensive tackle Makyi Lee, so he figures to get a shot too. Bobby Lawrence is entering his senior year, so maybe he finds a way to break through and get snaps at right tackle. No matter who it is, someone is going to have to step up and replace White for the time being. There are plenty of options, but none that are necessarily proven though.
Aside from the quarterback competition, this may be the most important camp battle to keep an eye on.