On Friday afternoon, the Missouri Tigers practiced on Faurot Field in pads for the first time this spring. The weather was outstanding, and enthusiasm continued to run high.
“Right now, we’re just getting our base offense and base defense down, the fundamentals of each position,” said Coach Pinkel. “We’re a pretty strong team, and we’re a pretty fast team. I’ve got the numbers. I know we are, as compared to most of the teams we’ve had. But, we’ve got to become good football players. That’s the fundamentals side of competing. And we’ve also got to compete better.”
I didn't see any changes in the Depth Chart. As for injuries, Eric Laurent and Jordan Williams each wore red jerseys and sat out all drills. Justin Britt and Taylor Chappell each wore red pull-overs, and went through non-contact drills. Matt Hoch and Harold Brantley had both shed their red pull-overs and were able to go full tilt.
There were several unofficial visitors in attendance, including Kevin Pendleton, among others.
Christian Brinser was able to air it out in punt practice. Blake Owens and Wesley Leftwich also practiced punting. Among those fielding punts were Marcus Murphy, Ian Simon, John Gibson, and Levi Copelin.
During one segment, Coach Walker and Coach Jones assembled the offensive line and TBs for some work on blocking assignments and technique. As a group, Missouri's offensive line has grown. Not only are guys physically bigger, but it's readily apparent that many of the young offensive linemen have grown in terms of maturity. Justin Britt and Taylor Chappell both participated in this limited contact drill, and they appear to be very mobile. That's two of Missouri's top tackles. I doubt that we'll see either of them go live until at least after Spring Break. Coach Pinkel said that he’d like to have them back after the break, but as one person told me, “there are no games in the spring.”
This drill also provides a glimpse at some of Missouri's TBs. Henry Josey and Russell Hansbrough took first-team reps in this drill. Marcus Murphy was on the other end of the field catching punts. Morgan Steward was taking reps with the second unit, which features Anthony Gatti at left tackle. Gatti looks very good. He's moving as well as I've seen him. This unit also features Mitch Hall at left guard and Connor McGovern at right guard, with Chappell at right tackle. That's a promising group of young linemen who appear to be close to being ready to play.
Once again, the top three QBs rotated in a group, while the other QBs worked in another group, or took a very limited number of reps with the main group. It appeared that Trent Hosick took a few more reps with the main group on Friday. Hosick appears to be making a positive impression.
All five scholarship QBs have the talent and the passing ability, which is really what is on display here, since there's really no way to evaluate their running ability based on these workouts. The QBs are off-limits to contact. As we know, the threat of being hit, and the crush around the QB in the pocket, can change how they perform.
Corbin Berkstresser zipped one to Leftwich that hit the sophomore receiver right in the numbers out along the left side.
Maty Mauk’s pass to Henry Josey was thrown high, but Josey went up and made the catch.
Trent Hosick hit Dorial Green-Beckham on a slant right on time and on the numbers.
Later, Franklin hit Reid Swearingen on a slant. Then, he hit Sheldon Gerau right in stride on a slant.
Eddie Printz completed a nice crisp pass right on target to Tyler Hunt.
Berkstresser’s pass was out in front of Darius White on a cross, but White reached out and snagged it for a nice reception.
Mauk’s pass intended for Miles Drummond was behind the RSF TB. Drummond reached back, but couldn’t pull it in. Then, Mauk hit Andrew Stephens right in stride.
Franklin hit Dorial Green-Beckham right in stride out along the left sideline.
Printz hit Drummond on an out route near the right sideline. He came right back with the same route to Tyler Hunt. Those passes were on time and on target.
On day three, Franklin finally threw a pass that was not on the money. He completed a pass on an out route near the left sideline to Darius White, but the junior receiver had to reach back for it.
Hosick threw a nice completion to Sasser. Then, he hit Green-Beckham on the fly down the left sideline. Hosick hit Leftwich right in stride on a fly down the seam.
Printz completed a pretty pass to Brandon Colbert out along the left side.
Mauk hit Gavin Otte on a deep out along the right side. Then, his pass intended for Eric Waters was overthrown. That was the type of pass that Mauk struggles with, where he needed to put some air under it.
Franklin threw a strike to Greg White on the slant. Then, Franklin hit Gerau right on the money.
Offensive Coordinator Josh Henson worked with the tight ends on getting off the line of scrimmage.
Evan Boehm got in some work at center.
“We’re going to work with (Boehm) at center,” said Coach Pinkel. “We’re going to look at center and guard for a bunch of those guys. We’re going to do that throughout spring football. Then, we’ll make some decisions on all of that.”