As the Missouri Tigers head into the spring, there are few position groups on the team that are as talented, or as established in terms of identifying which players are likely to populate the two-deep coming out of Spring Football.
New receivers coach Pat Washington will be getting an eyeful of a receiving corps that is both talented and experienced.
All indications are that Missouri will utilize their tight end this year. How the tight end will be utilized may be one of the more interesting revelations of the spring. Returning senior Eric Waters has the inside track on the starting job as we head into the spring, but his starting job will immediately be challenged by the talented red-shirt freshman, Sean Culkin. Last fall, Culkin was on his way to playing as a true freshman until a broken finger late in camp derailed his progress. From all reports, Culkin has continued to impress during the off-season.
As spring begins there are walk-ons behind Waters and Culkin at the tight end position, and it appears likely that the two scholarship TEs will remain atop the depth chart throughout the spring. Will Culkin unseat the senior for the starting job? How often will Missouri have a TE on the field? And, where will Missouri’s TE line up?
The wide-receiver position for Missouri is deep and experienced, as well as very talented. Starting jobs will be up for grabs, but the top six wide-receivers are pretty well-established.
I expect to see senior Marcus Lucas and sophomore Dorial Green-Beckham vying for the top spot at one of the outside receiver spots, with senior L’Damian Washington atop the depth chart at the other outside receiver spot. Washington will be challenged by junior Darius White, and possibly by junior Bud Sasser, although I suspect we’ll see Sasser competing with junior Jimmie Hunt for the top spot on the inside.
Lucas has been a productive receiver for Missouri the last two seasons, but he’ll have to continue to raise his game to win the starting job over the ultra-talented Green-Beckham. Washington has the experience and the deep speed. White is a talented, versatile receiver. He doesn’t possess elite speed, but he’s a big target, and offers versatility as a possession receiver, as well as some run-after-catch ability. Sasser is another versatile receiver with size. And, Hunt is an elusive playmaker from the slot, who is also the Tigers’ best perimeter blocker.
At the beginning of the spring, it is likely that the third rung on the wide receiver depth chart will feature senior Jaleel Clark, sophomore Wesley Leftwich, and RSF Levi Copelin. Barring injury, it will remain to be seen if any of the third-stringers have what it takes to move up, but they are capable. There’s real, quality competition among the top six wide receivers, and that’s a significant positive for the Tigers at one of the stronger positions on the team.
TE 81 Eric Waters 6’4” 240 (S) 80 Sean Culkin 6’6” 245 (RSF)
46 Kyle Peasel 6'3" 230 (S)
84 Brandon Colbert 6’3” 225 (J)
26 Jake Brents 6’3” 200 (RSF)
X WR 15 Dorial Green-Beckham 6’6” 220 (So) OR
85 Marcus Lucas 6’5” 220 (S) 18 Wesley Leftwich 6’1” 195 (So)
87 Gavin Otte 5’11” 200 (J)
88 Jimmie Hunt 6’0” 215 (J) OR 21 Bud Sasser 6’2” 210 (J)
16 Levi Copelin 6’2” 185 (RSF)
17 Sheldon Gerau 6’0” 200 (So)
Z WR 2 L'Damian Washington 6’4” 200 (S)
8 Darius White 6’3” 200 (J)
14 Jaleel Clark 6’4” 220 (S)
43 Cameron Chancey 6’0” 180 (So)