Spring Ball Position Preview: Wide Receiver

ShowMeMizzou.com takes a look at the Missouri Tiger receiving corps heading into spring football practice next week as we continue to preview the Tiger football program by position for 2012.

Heading into spring football, ShowMeMizzou.com takes a look at Missouri's receivers.

The Tigers return just one starter from 2011, in senior slot receiver T.J. Moe  6'0"  200.   In 2011, Moe made 54 receptions for 649 yards and 4TDs.  He's a very reliable receiver, and along with QB James Franklin, Moe is one of the leaders of the team.  Moe is extremely helpful to the development of the other receivers on Mizzou's roster, and he has turned into a coach on the practice field.  Much like Tommy Saunders did with him, Moe mentors several of Missouri's young receivers. 

Junior Marcus Lucas  6'5"  205  was a part-time starter in 2011, and he will be at the top of the depth chart come spring.  In 2011, Lucas made 23 receptions for 414 yards and 5 TDs.  Lucas led Missouri in TD receptions, and is one of the best that I've seen at Missouri at catching the fade route.

Junior L'Damian Washington  6'4"  188  saw more and more playing time throughout the 2011 season, when he made 20 receptions for 364 yards and 3 TDs.  I expect Washington to sit atop the depth chart at the beginning of the spring.  Washington really came on in 2011, and his sub 4.4 speed made him a deep threat.

At the TE position, junior Eric Waters  6'4"  223  steps into the starters' role this spring.  In 2011, Waters saw limited action, and made 2 receptions for 46 yards and 1 TD.  This spring will be Waters' opportunity to become established in the eyes of the coaching staff. 

Word out of the Missouri football program is that sophomore Jimmie Hunt  6'1"  200  is really coming on.   In 2011, Hunt saw very little action.  He took the one pass thrown his way 54 yards to the house.  I'd like to have seen more of him last year.  This spring will be his time to shine.

There were times last spring when I thought that sophomore Bud Sasser  6'3"  205  was the best receiver on the practice field not named T.J. Moe.  In 2011, Sasser saw limited playing time and made 3 receptions for 16 yards.  I look for Sasser to challenge Washington for a starting job this spring.

In 2011, senior Gahn McGaffie  5'10"  190   had  3 receptions for 18 yards.  McGaffie is a reliable receiver in the slot who will begin the spring as Moe's back-up.

Junior transfer Darius White  6'3"  205  will be required to sit out the 2012 season.  He'll have two years of eligibility remaining when he takes the field in 2013.  This spring, we'll get our first look at White, who earlier suggested that he thinks he'll be positioned on the outside at Missouri.

Red-shirt freshman Wesley Leftwich  6'2"  195  is the Tigers' fastest receiver, and he's very good at running under the deep ball.  He's got work to do to become a more complete receiver.  He's one of Moe's protégé's, and he's shown himself to be a tireless worker, and student of the game.  I expect Leftwich to challenge for playing time this year.

In 2011, senior Rolandis Woodland  6'3"  195   made 1 catch for 16 yards.  He may begin the spring listed with the second team, and he'll probably continue to be in the mix for some playing time.  Maybe Woodland's senior year will be his time to move into a more prominent role?

Junior Jaleel Clark  6'5"  210  has mostly seen action on special teams, where's he performed well, and has become a mainstay.  Clark could be a candidate to possibly proved some depth at the TE position, especially if he can add some weight.

Junior Kerwin Stricker  6'2"  205  has battled injuries in each of the last three years.  I've seen glimpses of his considerable talent, but Stricker's never been able to stay healthy long enough to climb the depth chart.

A walk-on, senior TE Stephen Drain  6'4"  255, is in position to get a lot of repetitions this spring.  He'll probably be the second-string tight-end this spring.

The Tigers go about 7-8 deep at the WR position.  They're thin at TE, so I think we'll see the Tigers utilize some personnel packages with no tight end.

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