The Missouri Tigers are set to kick off year two under the Barry Odom era. There is a renewed confidence with Odom and his staff now that they have adjusted following the growing pains of a 4-8 season. The depth chart of projected starters in the spring until now has changed a bit. Let’s take a look.
Offensively the two deep remains pretty much unchanged at the skill positions with Drew Lock the starter at quarterback, ahead of Jack Lowary and Micah Wilson as the backups. Damarea Crockett and Ish Witter at running back with J’Mon Moore, Johnathon Johnson and Dimetrios Mason as the starters at wideout. Richaud Floyd, the sophomore has moved of Ray Wingo behind Johnson. Dominic Collins moved ahead of Nate Brown who underwent shoulder surgery this spring as the backup to Moore.
Jason Reese remains the starter at tight end.
On the offensive line, Webb City product Trystan Castillo was listed fourth on the depth chart at center. He will start at 11 am against Missouri State. The only other significant change is Adam Ploudre, who was listed as number one at right guard. He will now back up Kevin Pendleton at left guard as Tre’vour Simms, the sophomore from East St. Louis won the right guard job after being listed as the backup in March.
At defensive end, former walk-on Jordan Harold was listed fourth in the spring. Not only was he named one of the team’s captains, he’ll start opposite Marcell Frazier. On the interior, of course Terry Beckner Jr. is back, but Rashad Brandon who was listed fourth on the depth chart this spring will be first off the bench to give Beckner Jr a breather. At the nose tackle position, sophomore Markell Utsey beat out A.J. Logan who started all 12 games last season.
K-State transfer Kaleb Prewitt will handle the strong side linebacker position ahead of spring’s projected starter Brandon Lee, who was a starter in 2016 and will still see significant playing time. Eric Beisel and Cale Garrett will share middle linebacker duties and not much has changed at the weak side with Jefferson City native Joey Burkett following Terez Hall.
On the corners, a position with a lot of young talent, DeMarkus Acy holds his starting job from the spring, but Logan Cheadle has come on strong in Fall camp to overtake sophomore Christian Holmes. Adam Sparks, a true freshman from Baton Rouge, LA, made a huge impression on the coaches this August and will back up Cheadle.
Another true freshman has won the starting job at free safety with Jordan Ulmer beating out Cam Hilton who enters his junior year. The converted wide receiver is still learning the defensive side of the ball. Anthony Sherrils, who leads Mizzou in career starts and games played flips with Ronnell Perkins who was the number one strong safety in spring.
When the Tigers take the field Saturday, there will be eight of the 22 starters who come from the state of Missouri: Drew Lock, Kevin Pendleton, Trystan Castillo on offense. Jordan Harold, Cale Garrett, Kaleb Prewett, Logan Cheadle and Anthony Sherrils on defense. 17 of the 50 players who are listed on the two deep depth chart (which includes kickers, punters, long snappers and some positions list three players), are from the Show-Me State.