Position changes highlight first spring practice

As the Tigers began spring football, the biggest news was several of the players, a couple of them former starters, moving over to different positions. Who moved, and who was making the moves on the field in the first practice? Inside Mizzou was there and has it all.

Moves, on and off the field, highlighted Missouri's first day of spring practice Thursday. The Tigers practice inside the Dan Devine Pavilion because of rainy weather in Columbia.

The moves off the field were the most notable, with Joe Gianino's move to center and Dedrick Harrington's move to linebacker highlighting the new spring depth chart. In addition, David Richard, as expected, moved from tailback to linebacker.

Alex Woodley, formerly a tailback, moved to defensive back, and the biggest depth news was Xzavie Jackson moving ahead of Brian Smith at defensive end opposite Zach Ville.

Punter Brock Harvey, who could have really used spring practice to restore coach Gary Pinkel's confidence in him, is out for all of spring practice following ankle surgery earlier this winter. Junior college recruit George Lane, a defensive lineman, did not transfer to Missouri for the winter semester and will miss spring football.

Otherwise, it was a typical first day of practice, with mostly fundamental drills and no pads. Harrington looked much bigger, and he confirmed that, saying he put on 15 pounds in the offseason for his move to linebacker.

On the field, Marcus Woods attracted the most attention with his punt returning. He constantly deked out the three-man coverage teams, and he showed his breakaway speed in taking it back to the end zone.


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