The most interesting position group to watch this spring for the University Missouri football team could be wide receiver, where the Tigers return their two most productive players, add a graduate transfer from Alabama and have several youngsters who could emerge.
Moore caught 29 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns. Brown had 27 receptions for 326 yards and four scores. Moore and Brown, who are both 6-foot-3, both averaged a respectable 12.1 yards per catch and should be able to build on their sophomore seasons with more consistent quarterback play.
The graduate transfer, Chris Black, is billed as a speedy 6-foot senior who recorded 25 catches for 290 yards in his three seasons with the Crimson Tide. He’ll add experience to the Tigers, but he’ll have to quickly adjust to his new team and playbook to try to make an immediate impact in his lone season in Columbia.
Fighting for snaps with those three players will be a group of youngsters led by rising sophomores Keyon Dilosa (11 catches for 86 yards), Cameron Hilton (nine catches for 129 yards), Emanuel Hall (eight catches for 64 yards), Raymond Wingo (four catches for 24 yards) and Desean Blair (two catches for 25 yards).
All five of those players gained some experience last season — Hilton and Hall both played as true freshmen, while the others were coming off redshirt seasons — and will be players to watch this spring. Hilton and Wingo played contributed at wide receiver last season after initially beginning their college careers as defensive backs.
Three freshmen who redshirted during the 2015 season — Justin Smith, Johnathon Johnson and Richaud Floyd — will battle that group for opportunities to show what they can do. The intriguing guy there is Smith, a 6-7, 200-pounder who could emerge as the red-zone threat the Tigers were missing last season.
Missouri will have a lot of players competing for wide receiver spots this spring, but they should be given plenty of opportunities to impress because the Tigers’ offense is in desperate need of playmakers to step and make a difference next season.