Matt and BK discussed the players that have the most and/or least to gain on Saturday when the Tigers take the field for scrimmage number one. They started with the players that have already locked in a starting spot, and worked their way down.
As we sit here on August 13, 2015, Matt and BK believer there are four offensive players and six defensive players that have already locked in a spot in the starting lineup.
1) Quarterback – Maty Mauk
2) Running Back – Russell Hansbrough
3) Left Tackle – Connor McGovern
4) Center – Evan Boehm
1) Defensive End – Charles Harris
2) Outside Linebacker – Kentrell Brothers
3) Middle Linebacker – Michael Scherer
4) Cornerback – Kenya Dennis
5) Cornerback – Aarion Penton
6) Free Safety – Ian Simon
After that list of 10 players that have locked in a starting spot based upon past performance, there is a cluster of players that could move up and down based on how they perform over the coming days and weeks.
Here are some players that have the most to gain on Saturday:
1) Right Guard – Mitch Hall… Hall has received high praise from teammates and coaches throughout fall camp. After Evan Boehm and Connor McGovern, Mitch Hall is probably the most sure-fire starter along the offensive line. A good outing in scrimmage number one could further establish his strangle-hold on the #1 spot at right guard.
2) Right Tackle – Nate Crawford… Crawford’s methodical rise to the starting right tackle spot is one of the better stories at Mizzou football camp. Eighteen months ago, Crawford was working with Coach Kuligowski and the defensive line. Today, just two months after receiving back surgery to repair a herniated disk, he’s the starting right tackle for the Missouri Tigers. Another strong performance on Saturday would go a long way in extending his lead for the starting right tackle spot over sophomore Clay Rhodes.
3) Wide Receiver – Wesley Leftwich… Leftwich is the lone upperclassmen in coach Pat Washington’s position group, and my guess is that he will be given every opportunity to win a starting receiver position. Leftwich didn’t exactly show out in spring scrimmages, so an impressive performance on Saturday could put the coaches at ease.
4) Defensive Tackle – Rickey Hatley… Hatley is Missouri’s second most experienced returning defensive lineman. I would be very surprised if he isn’t starting in the season opener at either defensive tackle or nose guard. Another strong performance on Saturday would likely put enough distance between himself and those behind him fighting for the backup jobs (i.e. AJ Logan, Terry Beckner Jr. and Josh Augusta).
We’ll have full coverage of Mizzou’s first scrimmage on Saturday. Keep it locked right here on KTGR.com, and on the radio on ESPN 103.1 & 100.5 FM and 1580 AM in Columbia.