With the recent injury to Jack Meiners, I started to take a closer look at Missouri's second-team offensive linemen. The Missouri coaching staff always talks about identifying their top five offensive linemen, then their top six, and so on. The Missouri staff tries to identify who is their third offensive tackle, who is their third offensive guard, and who is their third offensive center?
Throughout the last week or so of fall camp, it has been plain to see that Missouri's top six offensive linemen are tackles Elvis Fisher and Justin Britt, guard Jack Meiners, who is also the Tigers' third tackle, center Mitch Morse, and guards Max Copeland and Evan Boehm. Once Meiners returns to the line-up, Copeland and Boehm are both expected to split time at the left guard position.
After those top six, it becomes a little more unclear just who is the next guy in. One candidate who has really helped himself in the eyes of the coaching staff is red-shirt freshman Connor McGovern, who begins the season with the second-team offense. During fall camp, McGovern has played right guard and right tackle.
McGovern missed a lot of time during his first year at Missouri, but he told me recently that he's now fully recovered from his injuries. He had a very good camp, and as a result of his rapidly improving performance, he has ascended the Depth Chart. McGovern's a fast riser who could be pressed into duty sooner rather than later for the Tigers.
McGovern now weighs between 305 and 310 pounds. And, he feels that he's maintained his mobility.
"Now my goal is to get bigger, stronger, and faster," said McGovern, who played his senior year of high school at 270 pounds. "It's fun playing different spots, and trying different things and seeing what you're best at."
McGovern, who reported personal bests of 430 pounds in the bench press, 400 pounds in the hang clean, and over 600 pounds in the squat, shared some of his thoughts on the Missouri offense.
"I think we're looking really good," said McGovern. "We're all excited about the season. Everyone's playing really well."
McGovern said that some of the older players like Travis Ruth and Jack Meiners have spent time with him during the off-season helping him improve his footwork and his blocking technique. He is looking forward to getting on the field this year, and he's working hard to be ready for that responsibility.
"I'm excited," said McGovern. "Fundamentally, I've improved a lot, after missing spring ball……………………………………. I just want to keep improving, keep getting my fundamentals down, and play more aggressively and get on that championship SEC level."