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Missouri's first depth chart suggests the Tigers will play 8 true freshmen in 2015

Yes, Drew Lock is playing. Which other freshmen made the cut? And without injured Wesley Leftwich, the Mizzou receiving corps is HILARIOUSLY young.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri released its depth chart and game notes for the first game of the season, this Saturday's battle against SE Missouri State (3:00 p.m. CT). It is our best opportunity to start getting some answers from fall camp, and ... well ... there are certainly some answers below.


Maty Mauk (6'0, 195, Jr.)
Drew Lock (6'4, 205, Fr.)
Eddie Printz (6'3, 205, So.) -OR-
Marvin Zanders (6'1, 185, RSFr.)

Yeah, Lock's playing. You could read the tea leaves by looking at the snap distributions in last week's third scrimmage, and now we see it. Meanwhile, Zanders is listed as an *OR* third-stringer with Printz, which means he could see some time in a blowout as well.

Russell Hansbrough (5'9, 195, Sr.)
Ish Witter (5'10, 190, So.)
Tyler Hunt (5'11, 210, Sr.)
Morgan Steward (6'0, 210, Jr.)

Chase Abbington didn't have a standout fall camp, and Morgan Steward is still playing catch-up after missing so much time with his hip injury. That gives former walk-on Tyler Hunt a potential opportunity at No. 3 RB.

J'Mon Moore (6'3, 190, So.)
Emanuel Hall (6'3, 200, Fr.)
Jake Brents (6'3, 205, Jr.)

Nate Brown (6'3, 205, So.)
Thomas Richard (6'1, 190, RSFr.)
Ray Wingo (5'11, 180, RSFr.)

Keyon Dilosa (6'3, 200, RSFr.)
DeSean Blair (6'3, 190, RSFr.)
Eric Laurent (6'2, 215, Jr.)

Sean Culkin (6'6, 245, Jr.)
Jason Reese (6'5, 250, So.)
Clayton Echard (6'5, 260, Sr.)

As expected, Emanuel Hall is playing this year, though apparently impressive scrimmages didn't get the job done for Justin Smith, who we assume will now redshirt. Meanwhile, you won't see Wesley Leftwich's name above -- he is evidently still out after suffering a minor injury last week in camp.

Without Leftwich, that means the six receivers on the first and second string are made up of two sophomores, three redshirt freshmen, and one true freshman. YOUUNNNNG.

Connor McGovern (6'4, 305, Sr.)
Paul Adams (6'6, 290, RSFr.)

Alec Abeln (6'3, 290, So.)
Taylor Chappell (6'5, 305, Sr.)

Evan Boehm (6'3, 320, Sr.)
Brad McNulty (6'4, 305, Sr.)

Mitch Hall (6'5, 310, Sr.)
Kevin Pendleton (6'4, 315, RSFr.)

Nate Crawford (6'5, 300, So.)
Malik Cuellar (6'5, 300, Jr.)

We'd been hearing for a week or two that the staff was quite enamored with Alec Abeln and was tinkering with the idea of starting him at left guard instead of having him back up Evan Boehm at center. Well here you go. Abeln was apparently impressive enough in his audition to win the job.

This is great news as far as I'm concerned. We know that either of two seniors -- Chappell or McNulty -- can play a role on a solid offensive line, so the fact that Abeln won the job says a lot about Abeln. The line wasn't a massive strength in fall camp, however, so we'll see if that's just me being optimistic.

Meanwhile, one name you don't see above: Clay Rhodes, who was evidently outplayed by not only Nate Crawford, but also Malik Cuellar at right tackle.


Marcell Frazier (6'6, 265, Jr.)
Walter Brady (6'3, 255, RSFr.)

Josh Augusta (6'4, 345, Jr.)
Terry Beckner Jr. (6'4, 300, Fr.)
Josh Moore (6'5, 260, Fr.)

Ricky Hatley (6'4, 285, Jr.)
A.J. Logan (6'2, 300, So.)

Charles Harris (6'3, 255, So.)
Nate Howard (6'4, 230, Fr.)
Spencer Williams (6'3, 245, RSFr.)

The four starters are not surprising, but there is intrigue below that. Not only is Terry Beckner Jr. playing as a true freshman, but so, too, are Nate Howard and Josh Moore. Again, that's what the tea leaves were starting to tell us, and this confirms it.

Meanwhile, despite some decent scrimmage stats, Rocel McWilliams is nowhere to be found. Howard knocked him off of the list.

Kentrell Brothers (6'1, 235, Sr.)
Joey Burkett (6'2, 210, So.)

Michael Scherer (6'3, 230, Jr.)
Brandon Lee (6'2, 220, RSFr.)

Donavin Newsom (6'2, 230, Jr.)
Clarence Green (6'0, 220, Sr.)
Terez Hall (6'2, 215, Fr.)

No surprises here, other than the fact that Brandon Lee is the outright second-stringer at MLB, having fended off Eric Beisel. And as expected, Terez Hall will play.

Kenya Dennis (5'11, 200, Sr.)
John Gibson (6'0, 190, Jr.)

Aarion Penton (5'10, 190, Jr.)
Logan Cheadle (5'10, 180, So.)
Finis Stribling IV (5'11, 175, RSFr.)

No surprises here.

Anthony Sherrils (6'0, 190, So.)
Thomas Wilson (5'10, 190, So.)
Cam Hilton (6'0, 180, Fr.)

Ian Simon (6'0, 195, Sr.)
Tavon Ross (6'0, 200, RSFr.)

With Cortland Browning injured, Ross could get some playing time against SEMO, which is exciting. And as expected, Cam Hilton will play.

Special Teams

Andrew Baggett (6'1, 215, Sr.)
Nick Coffman (5'11, 175, Jr.)

Baggett might be a little bit rusty after missing practice time with back issues, but he's apparently good to go. He's also listed as the top kickoffs guy; I was curious if Corey Fatony could overtake him.

Corey Fatony (5'11, 185, Fr.)
Dayton Balvanz (6'5, 200, Jr.)

After both had pretty impressive fall camps, Fatony holds off JUCO newcomer Dayton Balvanz for the starting punter job.

Anthony Sherrils (6'0, 190, So.)
John Gibson (6'0, 190, Jr.)

Aarion Penton (5'10, 190, Jr.)
Thomas Wilson (5'10, 190, So.)

Two starting defensive backs get the first crack at replacing Marcus Murphy in the return game.

So it appears Mizzou will play eight true freshmen this year; in Fullback U's Sunday depth chart piece, he suggested that up to 10 might get the nod, but it appears Justin Smith and Franklin Agbasimere will redshirt. It is possible that someone like Johnathon Johnson could end up cracking the two-deep once healthy, but it probably not likely at this point. Gary Pinkel confirmed Johnathan Johnson is done for this year.