2013 Pre-Season Position Preview: Def. Line

The Missouri Tigers will hit camp with a nice mix of veteran talent at key positions along the defensive line, along with some exciting young talent looking to make a move and become factors sooner rather then later as we finish the position previews.

Heading into fall camp, ShowMeMizzou.com takes a look at Missouri’s defensive line.

The Tigers are talented and experienced at the defensive end position. Starting defensive ends Michael Sam and Kony Ealy have each made double-digit starts during their Missouri careers. Both of them have continued to improve and are currently playing their best football.

Shane Ray gives the Tigers a third starter at defensive end, which will allow Coach Kuligowski to utilize a three-man rotation with little or no drop-off in production. Like Ealy and Sam, Ray spent most of the spring in the offensive backfield. All three of Missouri’s top DEs bring speed, athleticism, and intensity to the football field.

Those three starters are backed up by a trio of returning players, including fifth-year senior Brayden Burnett, junior Markus Golden, and RSF Rickey Hatley. This spring, Burnett played as well as I’ve seen him, and Golden displayed a nose for the football, as well as uncommon strength. It appears that Hatley will remain at DE, and this spring, he showed that he can really run.

This summer, true freshman Marcus Loud has quickly made a positive impression. He’s a remarkable talent, and it’ll be interesting to see him on the practice field this fall.

Missouri’s top interior defensive lineman is junior DT Matt Hoch, who has just continued to improve. This spring, he took another huge step forward. Hoch has gotten bigger, stronger, and faster. He’s lean and mean, and he appears to be quicker, as well. For most of the spring, he bordered on being dominant.

“Matt Hoch, I mean, he’s just a different player (than he was a year ago),” explained Coach Pinkel.

Again, Coach Kul has a trio of returning starter-quality players. Joining Hoch is junior Lucas Vincent and RSF Harold Brantley. Heading into fall camp, Vincent is listed as the starter, but Brantley will continue to challenge for the starting job. In any event, it appears to me that Brantley will play a lot. He’s uniquely talented, quick, unusually strong, and very explosive off the football.

Heading into fall camp, the number four and five defensive tackles are fifth-year senior Marvin Foster, and another red-shirt freshman, Evan Winston.

The Tigers have four true freshmen defensive tackles on scholarship, and each one already appears to be big enough to play. Initially, in addition to the close competition between Vincent and Brantley, it will also be interesting to see the freshmen challenge for that fourth spot, and the opportunity to play this year.

It would be a big help if one or more of the freshmen can move into the playing rotation and make a significant contribution on the field this season.

DE 52 Michael Sam 6'3" 255 (S)

55 Brayden Burnett 6'2" 245 (S)

33 Markus Golden 6’3” 262 (J)

35 Marcus Loud 6’4” 270 (F)

DT 89 Matt Hoch 6’5” 295 (J)

94 Marvin Foster 6'1" 300 (S)

50 Evan Winston 6’3” 295 (RSF)

64 DeQuinton Osborne 6’0” 300 (F)

75 A.J. Logan 6’2” 310 (F)

93 Dakota Brake 6’2” 295 (F)


96 Lucas Vincent 6’2” 305 (J)

90 Harold Brantley 6’3” 290 (RSF)

99 David Butler 6’4” 280 (J)

97 Josh Augusta 6’4” 300 (F)

87 Nate Crawford 6’5” 315 (F)

51 Steven Mack 6’0” 245 (J)


47 Kony Ealy 6'’5” 275 (J)

56 Shane Ray 6’3” 245 (So)

95 Rickey Hatley 6’4” 270 (RSF)

64 Keric Lickerman 6’3” 235 (So)

58 Ben Eskelson 6’2” 225 (RSF)

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