“Oh, definitely,” Witter said. “As a player you have to expect if it comes down to being that person then you have to step up and become that person. So if it happens, it happens and I’ll be ready.”
Witter was thrust into a big role during his sophomore season last fall because of Russell Hansbrough's injury issues.
A 5-foot-10, 190-pounder from Tampa, Fla., Witter responded by leading the Tigers in rushing, gaining 518 yards on the ground and averaging 4.1 yards per carry. He also caught 15 passes for 143 yards. His 661 total yards were also a team high.
Still, the Missouri offense struggled throughout a 5-7 campaign and will need to be better in all areas — including a group of running backs that has lost Hansbrough and Tyler Hunt to graduation and also Morgan Steward (injury) and Chase Abbington (quit) this offseason.
So there’s plenty of uncertainty this spring with the Tigers’ running backs, a group that is also without Marquise Doherty because of his commitment to play baseball for Missouri this season.
Only Walters has carried the football in a college game.
“We’ve all been making plays when we get the chance to,” Witter said of the running backs’ work this spring. “There’s not one running back, all of us have been making plays.”
What is Witter working on to get ready for the 2016 season?
“Just getting faster, basically,” he said. “Just getting ready for the season. Whatever we work on this summer you’ll see next season.”
Ford has seen Witter put in plenty of work this offseason.
“He’s running the ball a lot more physical than what I had seen in the fall,” Ford said. “His pad level is where it needs to go, with how you finish runs and things like that. I think he’s a lot quicker. He’s in better shape. He had to lose some body fat — we’ve been on him about his weight. He’s put in the work and gotten a lot done in that way. I think he’s improved in many ways.”
Glen Elarbee meets the media | Watch: Andy Hill meets the media | Missouri football spring practice photo gallery April 8 | Watch: Barry Odom meets the media | OLB Terez Hall impressing during spring | Watch: DeMontie Cross meets the media | Missouri football notebook: injury updates | Missouri football spring practice photo gallery April 5 | Missouri's Culkin talks role, 2016 goals | Finley impressed with Mizzou's TE group | Sherrils steps into bigger role for Mizzou | Missouri football notebook: Two players quit | Missouri football spring practice photo gallery March 22 | Aarion Penton back to lead Mizzou's secondary | Alec Abeln anchors new-look Missouri offensive line
2016 MIZZOU SPRING FOOTBALL PREVIEWS