The first game of the year was disappointing in many ways, but there was one position in particular that stood out. Mizzou has a half-dozen capable receivers who could show out on any given week. And the position (for 2020) just got a little deeper on Thursday.
The Tigers got a bit of a surprise commitment in the way of four-star wide receiver Javian Hester. The 6-foot-4 receiver out of Tulsa brings it all to the table. His tape flashes size, speed and explosiveness.
If you’re looking for a stylistic comparison that immediately comes to mind, it’s former Missouri receiver L’Damian Washington. Hester will probably end up bulking up more than Washington did, but his impact could be similar by the time he’s done.
Where he fits:
Given his size, I would anticipate that Hester will see most of his time lined up as an outside receiver. He’s not going to be a player that spends his time running crossing routes in the slot. He’ll be more in the mold of Jalen Knox or Kam Scott.
When he’ll play:
Speaking of Knox and Scott, those two will have a lot of say in when Hester will see the field. The Tigers are quietly loaded with talent at receiver for the next couple seasons. Knox and Scott highlight the group, but those two aren’t alone. They’re joined by other talented underclassmen at the position such as Dominic Gicinto, Maurice Massey, Barrett Banister, C.J. Boone and Khmari Thompson.
Since Gicinto and Banister project to play more in the slot than the outside. Hester will likely battle Massey, Boone and Thompson for playing time once he arrives on campus.
What it all means:
Missouri is starting to stockpile some real talent at receiver. We’ve seen Knox and Scott translate that talent into production on the field already. I have a feeling the production will come soon from Massey as well, given the glowing reports we heard about him at Mizzou’s fall camp.
It’s hard to produce early on as a receiver at the college level. Offenses are more complex, the game moves faster and the corners are more physical. We’ve been spoiled as Missouri fans watching receivers over the years. But stockpile enough talented receivers and you’re bound to find a couple who can translate right away. Hester has the potential to be that kind of a player.