The wide receiver position at Missouri is crowded this spring, amid competition for playing time, and starting positions, heading into this season. Following a recent practice, ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with one young wide receiver who continues to emerge, in RSF Bud Sasser 6'3" 208.
Sasser continues to make a strong impression, standing out daily in his bid to climb the depth chart,where he has advanced to second string at the H position after a strong scrimmage performance this past Saturday. He shared some of his thoughts about spring ball.
"Practice has been pretty intense," said Sasser. "We've got a new little fastball thing going in, so we're moving and shaking. We're running a lot faster. We're trying to push up the tempo a little bit."
Sasser talked about his comfort level during practice this spring.
"I'm getting a little bit better on all of my plays and stuff," said Sasser. "So, right now, really when I go out there, I'm just focusing a little more on what the defense is doing, what coverages they're in."
"I'm trying to get open," said Sasser, smiling. "I don't like being covered."
Sasser talked about another area of focus for him.
"I had a few drops early on in the first couple of practices," Sasser admitted. "And, I'm really focusing on not having any more for the rest of the spring."
I pointed out to Sasser that he's currently listed behind the team's leading returning receiver, in junior T.J. Moe, and asked him about the potential for a lateral move, as an avenue to moving up the depth chart.
"It's all about competition," said Sasser. "I'm just trying to get on the field."
Last August, Sasser began fall camp playing at the Z WR position, similar to what he had played in high school. I asked Sasser what he thinks about possibly moving back outside.
"I'll learn anything that they put me at," explained Sasser. "Wherever they put me, I've just got to learn it, to earn my spot."
"I actually like being (inside)," said Sasser, talking about playing in the slot. "The H spot gets a lot of balls. I like being there. You get a lot of passes thrown to you."
Sasser reported a recent personal best in the bench press of 315 pounds, and a vertical jump of 38". He said that he ran a "4.6 flat" forty this spring.
Sasser's stated goals for the spring include getting better daily.
"Just keep getting better," said Sasser. "There's things I can go out here and work on every day. There's things I can focus on every day to get better."
I asked Sasser to be more specific.
"My routes." Sasser replied. "Right now, my routes, they're not bad, but I'm just trying to perfect my routes. So I can just be even more open. When I'm stemming, my routes, just coming out straight, getting out of my cuts, (making them look alike)."
"My goal is to not drop any balls the rest of the spring," continued Sasser. You've got to focus, and when that ball is in the air, you've just got to know that it's yours. And, you've got to make sure that both of your eyes are on it, and your hands just close in on it."
Sasser has good speed on the football field, is very quick, has excellent receiving skills, and has become a very good route runner. He's headed for a lot of playing time, and a lot of receptions, during his time at Missouri.