On Friday afternoon, the Missouri Tigers took to Faurot Field in helmets and shorts, for an abbreviated practice.
The injury report is the same as it has been. Elvis Fisher, Beau Brinkley, Dominique Hamilton, Marcus Malbrough, Luke Lambert, Will Ebner, and Corey Sudhoff, each wore red jerseys, and did not participate. Derrion Thomas is on crutches, in street clothes, and Michael Boddie, Tony Randolph, and Jaleel Clark each wore red pull-overs, and went through most drills.
The Tigers had a visitor at practice today, in former Missouri QB, Blaine Gabbert. He is planning to remain in Columbia through next Thursday's Pro Day, and the draft.
There are no changes to report in the depth chart. Today's practice involved a lot of individual drills, and one-on-one instruction.
Practicing outside for the first time this spring provided a good view of the punters and kickers. For about the fourth year in a row, I'm amazed at how much the Tigers just continue to improve the quality and the developmental depth at these two positions.
Kicking from just inside the 50-yard line, Grant Ressel sent one through the uprights with room to spare. That was about a 59-yard FG, that would have been good from 62 or more. Blake Owens has a good leg, and continues to improve.
Trey Barrow and Christian Brinser took turns punting the ball across the field, while their teammates practices below. Both punters consistently punt the ball clear across the field. During punting practice, Barrow was punting out of the end zone, and consistently getting the ball across midfield. Some of his punts were 60 yards in the air, and with good hang time.
Those receiving kick-offs included Murphy, Henry Josey, and McGaffie.
During the 1-on-1 pass rush drills, Brad Madison blew by Jack Meiners with a speed rush to the outside. Brayden Burnett worked hard to get past Dan Hoch. Austin Wuebbels stone-walled Marvin Foster. Wuebbels looks terrific! Jack Meiners did a good job of moving his feet, and picked up a win over Michael Sam.
Burnett overpowered Mark Hill, in what was a closely contested battle. Justin Britt took Foster on past the QB, and then threw him to the ground. Matt Hoch picked up a win over Mark Hill with a nice spin move. Michael Sam put a double move on Anthony Gatti, but Gatti stayed right with him for the win. Lucas Vincent bull-rushed his way past Justin Britt. Mitch Morse did a nice job staying in front of Brendan Donaldson. Max Copeland picked up a win over Gerrand Johnson. Kony Ealy overpowered John Birdwell. Chris Freeman picked up a win over Tim Struckhoff.
During 7-on-7 action, James Franklin completed a pass to Michael Egnew on a crossing pattern, in front of Kenji Jackson. Then, Franklin found T.J. Moe in the left seam for a nice gain. Franklin hooked up with Marcus Lucas for a nice reception over the middle. Randy Ponder broke up a Franklin pass attempt, which was intended for Eric Waters. Franklin found Steven Drain over the middle on successive pass attempts. Drain caught the second one. Franklin hit Brandon Gerau right in the hands on a crossing route, but Gerau couldn't hold on. Franklin hit McGaffie out along the right sideline for a nice gain. Franklin found Marcus Lucas out along the numbers on the left side for a nice gain.
Franklin hit Bud Sasser right in stride on a crossing route, and Sasser turned it up for a big gain.
Ashton Glaser hit Rolandis Woodland on a slant. Trey Hobson got his hand on a Glaser pass attempt, intended for Woodland out along the left sideline, to break it up. Glaser's throw was behind L'Damian Washington. Glaser hooked up with Eric Waters for a nice gain, on a hitch near the left seam. Glaser checked down to De'Vion Moore out along the right sideline, in front of Tavon Bolden.
Tyler Gabbert found Kyle Peasel out along the left hash mark. Later, Gabbert made a nice throw to hit Woodland right in stride on a deep cross, but Woodland was unable to hold on. Tony Randolph broke up a slant pass from Gabbert that was intended for Jaleel Clark. L'Damian Washington went down on the ground out along the left sideline, trying to catch a pass from Gabbert, that was under thrown. Gabbert hit Egnew on a quick slant. Jerrell Jackson hauled in a Gabbert pass in front of Kenji Jackson, out along the right sideline.
Several players stood out to me today, even though the team won't be in pads until tomorrow. Among those who got my attention today were Marcus Lucas, Bud Sasser, and Jimmie Hunt. Lucas look better physically, and appears to be more fluid in his movements. He's also catching the ball more consistently than he did last fall. Sasser looks like one of the top three receivers on the field. He catches everything, and is both quick, and explosive. Hunt just exudes talent. He too, is catching everything, and he is probably Missouri's most athletic receiver.
On the other side of the ball, Kenronte Walker and Braylon Webb have been standing out to me. These are a couple of very athletic safeties, both of whom have very good size.