Missouri resumed Spring football on Thursday afternoon as the Tigers took to Devine Pavilion in helmets and shorts for the second of their fifteen spring workouts. Enthusiasm continued to run high.
The only Depth Chart changes noted were the result of a couple of injuries. There were two players wearing red jerseys, including QB Eric Laurent, who had his right wrist in a cast, and offensive lineman Jordan Williams. Defensive tackles Matt Hoch and Harold Brantley, and offensive tackle Justin Britt, wore red pullovers, and they each went through the non-contact drills.
Coach Kuligowski put the defensive linemen through a series of drills aimed at developing fundamental technique. He's in there teaching after each repetition. Sheldon Richardson was present, and he stayed close by the defensive linemen, giving encouragement, and evidently getting in some mental reps.
As I wrote about on Tuesday, a pair of RSF defensive linemen continued to impress with their speed and agility, including Rickey Hatley and Harold Brantley, who appears to be the fastest of Missouri's interior defensive linemen.
As Christian Brinser banged punts off of the roof, I took note that Jake Hurrell is the number one long-snapper, and the first-team wedge blockers are Kony Ealy, Matt Hoch, and Brayden Burnett. Marcus Murphy and Levi Copelin were among those who were fielding punts.
Andrew Baggett came on to practice field goals, and Jake Hurrell handled the snaps for him, as well. Trent Hosick did some of the holding on the placements.
There were several unofficial visitors in attendance, including LB Jimmie Swain, among others.
I spent much of the rest of my allotted time watching QBs and receivers. Once again, the top three QBs rotated through one group, while the other QBs worked in another group, or took a very limited number of reps with the main group. Once again, James Franklin stood out from everyone else with the timing and the accuracy of his passes. His throws are consistently on time and on target. Corbin Berkstresser and Maty Mauk each made a number of quality throws, but they're simply not as consistently as accurate as is Franklin. The same can be said for Trent Hosick and Eddie Printz, as well, in comparison to Franklin, although much like Berkstresser and Mauk, they are each making mostly accurate throws.
Franklin hit Marcus Lucas right on time and right on the money out along the left sideline.
Berkstresser threw the same route and missed Bud Sasser.
Hosick hit Henry Josey right in stride just outside the numbers.
Printz hit Dorial Green-Beckham in stride as he ran down the left sideline. Printz laid that one right on Green-Beckham’s hands. Printz’s throw intended for Leftwich was high, but Leftwich went way up in the air to make the fingertip grab.
Later, Franklin hit Tyler Hunt right in stride. Then, Franklin hit Greg White right in stride as the junior TB circled out of the backfield.
Berkstresser’s pass to Russell Hansbrough was a little high, but the sophomore TB went up to make the grab. Berkstresser’s pass to Henry Josey on the cross was thrown behind the junior TB, but Josey slowed down, turned at the hips, and adroitly made the grab. Josey showed good flexibility and agility on that one. Berkstresser completed a bullet right on the money to Lucas out along the left sideline.
Mauk hit Green-Beckham right in stride in the left seam. That pass was right on target. Then, Mauk hit Sasser right in stride on a slant. Mauk’s pass intended for Darius White on the post was thrown high. White went up high and extended to about ten feet above the turf to haul that one in.
Later, Mauk would say that the post routes are among some of the passes that he needs to get better at throwing.
All of the players and all of the coaches are looking forward to practicing in pads on Friday.
Coach Washington said with a smile, “Some guys look better in shorts than they do in pads.”