"What we're really trying to say is who the best eight guys are," replied Coach Hill. "You've got four spots, so we're trying to find the best eight guys. So really, we call it, when Eric Waters is in the game, that's eleven personnel, with one tight end and one back. And, when we go to second team, where Jaleel (Clark) or Bud (Sasser) is in there, then that's ten personnel."
Ten personnel refers to one back and no tight end, which means that while Sasser and Clark are currently listed as tight ends, they're still seen as wide receivers, and when they are on the field instead of Waters or one of the other tight ends, that signifies that the Tigers are lining up without a tight end on the field. That fourth wide receiver position, when utilized in place of a tight end is typically identified within Missouri's offensive scheme as the Y WR position.
"You don't want to stack them up at fourth-team H, when they can be second-team Y," Coach Hill explained.
Coach Hill also pointed out that the Tigers have just one scholarship tight end on the field this spring, in junior Eric Waters.
Coach Hill also said that when the Tigers utilize a fifth WR, that fifth guy takes the place of the tailback. Of course, with tailbacks like Marcus Murphy, the Tigers frequently line their tailback up as a fourth or fifth receiver.
"He's good," said Coach Hill, talking about Murphy. "We can line him up as a receiver."
With the expected arrival of Dorial Green-Beckham in June, competition for the top eight guys at the four receiver positions will continue into the fall.
Coach Hill also said that Levi Copelin has decided to begin his Missouri career on the offensive side of the football. Coach Hill said that he wasn't sure, but that he thought that Copelin might start out on the outside.
Coach Hill talked about an important factor in determining who will be the top eight guys.
"When we're throwing the ball to you, you have got to get open, and I don't care how you do it," explained Coach Hill. "You can't be the guy who's covered up. When the quarterback is standing there looking at you, and you're covered, and you can't get open, that can't happen! That's where the step-up level really is…………………………………………… You've got to do whatever you can do; fight, scratch, claw, kick, whatever you've got to do to make sure that nobody is covering me when the ball is coming to me."
"It's being totally focused," continued Coach Hill, talking about the intensity and the sense of urgency that he's looking for in his top eight guys. "You've got to have confidence, and you've got to have ability. And then most importantly, you've got to understand it's coming! Whoever the best eight guys are."