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Who? Five Tigers Who Need To Become Household Names This Season E-mail
Written by Slim   
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 00:15

Anyone can tell you that Blaine Gabbert and Aldon Smith are going to be crucial parts to the Tigers success this year. But every successful team has its share of unheralded guys that step up and emerge as household names by season’s end.

In 2007 William Moore went from a player who had a handful of starts with some flashes of brilliance to arguably the best safety in the nation. In 2008, Kenji Jackson came out of nowhere to make 62 tackles (7th on the team) and two interceptions (Ok, maybe he’s taken a step backward, but you get the idea). Last year, Aldon Smith went from never playing a snap in his life to setting the MU sack record.

So who will emerge in 2010? Here are five guys I think Mizzou needs to step up big this year if Tigers are serious for contending for a conference title.

1. Kip Edwards – RS Sophomore - Cornerback

Edwards started to make a name for himself at the end of last year, but he still has tons of untapped potential. In the final four games of 2009 he made 10 of his 20 tackles, had two pass break ups and an interception. Edwards didn’t start last year and with Kevin Rutland and Carl Gettis ahead of him on the depth chart, he likely won’t start again this year. But in the Big 12 it’s crucial to have multiple corners who can play at a high level. The failures of Mizzou’s secondary are well documented. If that’s going to change, Edwards is going to have a big say in it. I think we can expect him to push for a starting role and definitely see significant playing time. Look for Edwards to record about 30-40 tackles and come away with a few interceptions in 2010. He’ll carry that momentum into 2011 where he’s likely to be Missouri’s best corner.

2. Marcus Lucas – Incoming Freshman – Wide Receiver

If you don’t follow recruiting, maybe you haven’t heard of Lucas. If you do, you know why he’s on this list. The guy has all the tools to be great. He’s 6’5, 200 lbs, and as you can see from the video below, a pretty impressive receiving prospect. We all know receivers are critical to Mizzou’s offense. Jerrell Jackson, Wes Kemp and Rolandis Woodland all need to have big seasons. But if Missouri can get an unexpected contribution from one of the incoming receivers, life will be a lot easier for David Yost and Blaine Gabbert. Incoming frosh Bud Sasser and Jimmie Hunt will be good players for the Tigers someday, but I think Lucas has the opportunity to emerge as a contributor this season. Look for Lucas to earn playing time as a true freshman and make 15-20 catches in 2010.

 

3. Terrell Resonno – RS Junior – Defensive Tackle

Defensive tackle is easily Missouri’s most questionable position heading into the season. Dominique Hamilton played well last year alongside the now departed Jaron Baston. Hamilton started 12 games and recorded 46 tackles including 5.5 for a loss and a sack. He should be a solid starter again this year. However, Resonno is giant question mark. He started the Illinois game last year but was quickly benched in favor for Hamilton. Mizzou ranked 26th in the NCAA against the run last year. Granted, most teams had their way passing against the Tigers, but Mizzou won’t rank anywhere near there if Resonno doesn’t step up this year. I think Missouri’s secondary will be improved from last year and the linebacking corps is arguably the deepest in Mizzou’s history. If Resonno can shore up the defensive line, the Mizzou defense could surprise some people.

4. Michael Egnew – Junior – Tight End

What do the 2007 and 2008 seasons have in common? Mizzou had double digit wins in each season and not coincidentally, they had significant contributions from the tight end position in both of those seasons. Ok, never mind the fact that those were two of the most talented Mizzou teams ever, that ruins my argument. My point is, Missouri’s offense is at its best when it has a contributing tight end. Last year, Mizzou missed the reliability of a tight end who they could count on to get open and get them 8 – 12 yards on a given play. Andrew Jones will be healthy again this season, but from the looks of things in spring ball, Michael Egnew is going to emerge as the star at tight end. If Missouri’s offense is going to improve from last year, it’s going to need a significant contribution from that position and I think Egnew will provide it. Look for the big and athletic target to make 40-plus catches and around five or six touchdowns.

5. Any safety not named Jasper Simmons

Jasper Simmons has the free safety position locked up. Despite a few memorable gaffes (cough, cough, that slip and fall against Dezmon Briscoe), Simmons played well last season. He made 73 tackles, forced two fumbles, and picked off a pass. The other safety position is a different story. Everyone thought Kenji Jackson would be a star last year, and well… he wasn’t. Then it looked like Jarrell Harrison would take over, but now he’s in the doghouse. If Mizzou’s secondary is really going to take a step forward they need to shore up the strong safety position. Whether it’s going to be Jackson or Harrison reclaiming their starting role, or a younger guy like Tavon Bolden, Matt White, or Kenronte Walker taking over, Mizzou needs a reliable strong safety. Otherwise, expect more of the same from the Mizzou pass defense.



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Comments (2)
Complimentary Offensive Threats
written by University of Missouri Pool Shark, July 13, 2010
I'm hoping this fall to see Lucas, Egnew, and Gabbert form a tight symbiotic relationship with each member making the other two look better ala Chase Daniel's situation with his old offensive weapons.
Tell me about it...
written by Slim, July 13, 2010
That would definitely be nice.

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