Continuing to build on the second half of his red-shirt freshman season, sophomore tight end Jason Reese has been taking reps on offense this spring with the first and second team. He’s showing himself to be one of Maty Mauk’s favorite and most reliable targets.
“It’s really good to go against our best defenders,” Reese explained to ShowMeMizzou.com this spring. “Going against our first-team defense, it’s a lot faster. It’s going to help me make our reads faster. You know, our defense is pretty dang good! So, if I’m going to play well against our defense, you know, I can only imagine what I’m going to do in the fall.”
“It’s really good to go against those nice experienced guys,” continued Reese. “It looks like they’ve been playing for four years. I feel like if I’m doing good against them, I should be able to do well in the fall.”
In addition to the possibility of winning the starting job, or splitting time with junior tight end Sean Culkin, there’s also the possibility that Missouri will frequently line up with a pair of tight ends on the field. So as Coach Henson said, there’s a chance for Reese to compete for a lot of playing time this year.
This spring, the 6’4” 240-pound Reese improved his forty time. He posted a 4.66-second 40-yard dash, to go along with a 36” standing vertical jump. Reese is an outstanding edge blocker. He has big, soft hands. And, he has improved his agility and flexibility, as well as his speed.
Reese acknowledged that working with the first-team offense allows him to develop rapport with Maty Mauk. It looks to me like Mauk is targeting Reese.
“I guess we already have that natural feeling,” explained Reese, acknowledging that he and Maty are often on the same page. “You know, working with the ones is definitely going to help get us on the same page.”
Reese did admit that he and Culkin would like to re-establish Missouri as “Tight End U”.
“With Coach Henson being our full-time coach now, I feel like me and Sean can bring back the Rucker-Coffman era,” said Reese, referring to Missouri’s previous pair of All-American tight ends. “As a matter of fact, that’s what we’re trying to do. I’m going to go ahead a say it. We’re going to bring it back. We used to be called Tight End U. Well, we’re trying to bring it back, along with Kendall (Blanton). He’s a nice young talent. We’re going to get him going, too.”