Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

2014 Missouri Recruiting Class Analysis

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 7, 2014


Missouri Tigers 2014 ... Head Coach: Gary Pinkel


Missouri Tigers

2013 Record: 12-2
8/31 Murray State W 58-14
9/7 Toledo W 38-23
9/14 OPEN DATE
9/21 at Indiana W 45-28
9/28 Arkansas St W 41-19
10/5 at Vanderbilt W 51-20
10/12 at Georgia W 41-26
10/19 Florida W 36-17
10/26 South Carolina W 27-24 2OT
11/2 Tennessee W 31-3
11/9 at Kentucky W 48-17
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/23 at Ole Miss W 24-10
11/30 Texas A&M W 28-21
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP
12/7 Auburn L 59-42
Cotton Bowl
1/3 Oklahoma State W 41-31


Missouri | The Entire 2014 Recruiting Class 

Team Concerns For 2014: The secondary was talented enough, but it allowed way too many yards. The run defense was the issue against Auburn, but that was an anomaly – giving up 265 yards per game through the air was the biggest issue for a D that gave up 418 yards per outing. Even with the great pass rush, the secondary struggled and allowed too many first downs. The punt return game could stand to be a bit stronger.

The 2014 Class Is Heavy On ... Wide receivers. The Tigers came up with a few good, late signings to help improve, considering the great 2013 season, a relatively underwhelming class. The receiving corps looks like a Mizzou receiving corps with lots of size and lots of talent for the high-octane passing attack. 6-3, 210-pound Nate Brown out of Georgia is terrific, and there’s a boatload of other good options to play around with. The secondary is the strength of the defense with Raymond Wingo a big shutdown corner out of St. Louis and JUCO transfer Kenya Dennis ready to step in and provide instant dept at one safety spot.

2013 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 39. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. The Tiger defensive line has to be tougher and more physical, and that starts with with tackle Josh Augusta and Antar Thompson to try to get the front four to an elite SEC level. Running back Chase Abbington is a talent who'll get a long look early on, and offensive tackle Clay Rhodes should be a starter once he adds about 30 pounds of muscle. The Tigers, though, were built by Gary Pinkel to get the offense going, and that means Trent Hosick out of Kansas City and Eddie Printz out of Georgia need to recapture the magic of recent great passers and playmakers. Neither one is a Blaine Gabbert-like first round draft pick, but getting another Chase Daniel wouldn't be bad.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 38. That Class Was Heavy On ... Top-shelf players. Helping out the linebacking corps would be nice, and getting a few more defensive linemen to go with last year’s haul would be a plus, but with the move coming to the SEC the Tigers need to get far stronger and far better across the board. Head coach Gary Pinkel has a good-looking class coming in, but he needs to land as many four-and-five star prospects as possible with so many areas already looking good for the next few years. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 21. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The last two classes brought in the skill players, but Gary Pinkel didn’t ignore the stars this year with another great quarterback prospect in Corbin Berkstresser and big, Tiger-like targets in Wesley Leftwich and Brandon Hannah. The offensive line got stronger at guard, and the secondary got some reinforcements, but the strength is on the defensive front where JUCO transfer Sheldon Richardson will be an All-Big 12 star now, and end Shane Ray will soon be another Aldon Smith. Gerrand Johnson will be a monster of an inside presence once he hits the weights.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 39. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. It was a bit of a strange class considering Gary Pinkel and his staff signed a slew of skill players last year, but this year's haul might be even more talented. Quarterbacks James Franklin and Tyler Gabbert will have years to work and develop behind Tyler's brother, Blaine Gabbert. WR Marcus Lucas won't fill the hole left by Danario Alexander, but he's another big, fast target with NFL upside. Up front, Nick Demien is a great offensive tackle prospect who should be the anchor by 2013. End Kony Ealy leads the defensive side as the team's top end prospect.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 39. That Class Was Heavy On ... offensive reinforcements. The defense was hardly ignored with DT Sheldon Richardson a sure-thing All-Big 12 talent and JUCO transfer Josh Tatum is a plug-n-play linebacker, but with all the superstars gone off the offense, head coach Gary Pinkel had to find a new wave of offensive prospects to develop. Blaine Dalton is a smallish quarterback who can move, while RB Kendial Lawrence and receivers Jaleel Clark and Kerwin Stricker are going to be counted on to shine by 2011.

Missouri 41, Oklahoma State 31
Basically … Both offenses got rolling in a crazy fourth quarter with 51 combined points, but it was the Missouri defense that came up with the clincher. Oklahoma State was in game-tying field goal range and with the potential to win with a touchdown, but Tiger DE Michael Sam sacked Clint Chelf, forced a fumble, and Shane Ray scooped and scored from 73 yards out. Henry Josey ran for three touchdowns for Mizzou, kicking off the scoring in the first quarter on a three-yard run, tearing off a 25-yard dash early in the fourth, and coming up with the game-winner from 16 yards away with just over three minutes to play. Oklahoma State kept punching back, overcoming a 17-7 halftime deficit with a 21-yard Jhajuah Seals touchdown catch and helped by a Chelf 23-yard diving touchdown dash and a Desmond Roland score from two yards out. Maty Mauk stepped in for James Franklin for a brief period in the second quarter and found Marcus Lucas from 24 yards out.

- Missouri RB Henry Josey ran 12 times for 92 yards and three touchdowns, and caught a pass for ten yards.
- Oklahoma State QB Clint Chelf completed 33-of-57 passes for 377 yards and two scores with two picks, and he ran ten times for 52 yards and a touchdown.
- Missouri QB James Franklin completed 15-of-40 passes for 174 yards with a pick, and ran 16 times for 36 yards.
-Oklahoma State WR Tracy Moore caught seven passes for 100 yards.
- Missouri LB Andrew Wilson made 15 tackles with a half a tackle for loss
- Missouri DE Kona Ealy made six tackles with two sacks.
- Oklahoma State DE Jimmy Bean tied for the team lead with seven tackles with a sack and three tackles for loss. - Missouri DE Michael Sam made three tackles with a sack and a game-sealing forced fumble.
- Oklahoma State total yards: 548 – Missouri 462
- Penalties: Oklahoma State 10 for 100 yards – Missouri 4 for 42 yards

Auburn 59, Missouri 42
Basically … In a crazy shootout of a game, Tre Mason ran for 304 yards and four touchdowns with scoring runs from one-yard out and from 13 yards away in the fourth quarter to finally allow Auburn to pull away. Down 28-27 at halftime, Missouri took the lead late in the third quarter on a Marcus Murphy ten-yard touchdown catch, but Auburn responded with two dominant drives with Corey Grant running for a two-yard score and Cameron Artis-Payne rolling through for a 15-yard score. Mizzou kept pace with a five-yard James Franklin touchdown run and the two point conversion to pull within three, but that was it. The Auburn defense held the rest of the way.
- Total yards: Auburn 676, Missouri 534. Auburn ran for 544 yards, Missouri threw for 303.
- Auburn RB Tre Mason ran 45 times for 303 yards and four score
- Auburn QB Nick Marshall completed 9-of-11 passes for 132 yards and a score, and he ran 16 times for 101 yards and a touchdown.
- Missouri WR Dorial Green-Beckham caught six passes for 144 yards and two scores. Henry Josey ran nine times for 123 yards.

LSU

Ole Miss

Mississippi State

Texas A& M

at Missouri 28, Texas A&M 21
Basically … Missouri won the East and is off to the SEC title game after Henry Josey tore off a 57-yard touchdown run to break a 21-21 tie to complete a big second half. Down seven, the Tigers, who got a 38-yard Dorial Green-Beckham touchdown catch in the first half, opened the second half with a two-yard Marcus Murphy touchdown run and a five-yard leaping L’Damian Washington scoring grab, but Texas A&M answered with a long march and a seven-yard Ben Malena touchdown run. Johnny Manziel only threw for 195 yards with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Derel Walker.
- Missouri QB James Franklin completed 18-of-28 passes for 233 yards and two scores, and ran 18 times for 80 yards
- Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel completed 24-of-35 passes for 195 yards and a score, and he ran 11 times for 21 yards
- Texas A&M RB Brandon Williams averaged 9.5 yards per run and Trey Williams averaged eight yards per pop.
- Missouri WR L’Damian Washington caught six passes for 97 yards and a touchdown, and Dorial Green-Beckham caught seven passes for 93 yards and a score.

Missouri 24, at Ole Miss 10
Basically … Missouri got up 10-0 in the first half and maintained control throughout the game. The Tigers came up with a four-yard Henry Josey touchdown run in the first and, got a three-yard Marcus Murphy scoring run late in the first half for a 17-3 lead. Ole Miss had its chances, and I’Tavius Mathers tore off a 45-yard touchdown run to pull the Rebels within seven early in the second half, but the Tiger defense clamped down the rest of the way while the offense got comfortable with a ten-yard Josey touchdown dash.
- Missouri QB James Franklin completed 12-of-19 passes for 142 yards and a pick, and he ran eight times for 42 yards.
- Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace completed 26-of-42 passes for 244 yards with a pick.
- Ole Miss WR Donte Moncrief caught six passes for 115 yards.
- Missouri outgained Ole Miss 260 rushing yards to 126.

Missouri 48, at Kentucky 17
Basically … Down 3-0 early, Missouri cranked up 28 straight points to take control of the game with two Henry Josey touchdown runs and two Dorial Green-Beckham touchdown catches. DGB made two more scoring grabs in the second half on passes from 22 and seven yards out, and Josey ripped off an 86-yard touchdown dash to put it away for good. UK got into the end zone on one-yard runs from Jalen Whitlow and Raymond Sanders.
- James Franklin was available, but Maty Mauk took control of the game from the start finishing 17-of-28 for 203 yards and five scores. Dorial Green –Beckham caught seven passes for 100 yards and four scores.
- Kentucky’s Jalen Whitlow completed 17-of-27 passes for 225 yards, and he ran 24 times for 44 yards and a touchdown.
- Missouri came up with seven sacks, Kentucky zero. Kony Ealy came up with two sacks, Michael Sam didn’t get any.
- Kentucky controlled the clock, holding on to the ball for 37:26 having it for over 21 minutes in the second half.

at Missouri 31, Tennessee 3
Basically … Missouri didn’t suffer any hangover from the South Carolina loss scoring the first 17 points of the game with Maty Mauk touchdown passes to Dorial Green-Beckham and L’Damian Washington along with a 24-yard Andrew Baggett field goal. Baggett missed a late field goal off the post, but a 40-yard Marcus Lucas touchdown catch and a 26-yard Russell Hansbrough helped the Tigers roll.
- Mizzou QB Maty Mauk completed 12-of-25 passes for 163 yards and three scores, and he led the team with 114 rushing yards on 13 carries.
- With Justin Worley out hurt with a thumb problem, Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs struggled completing 26-of-42 passes for 240 yards and two picks. He led the team with 45 rushing yards.
- Tennessee turned it over three times and committing nine picks. Missouri didn’t give the ball away and committed five penalties.
- Missouri converted 10-of-19 third down chances, Tennessee converted 2-of-13 tries and missed on both fourth down attempts.

South Carolina 27, at Missouri 24 2OT
Basically … South Carolina’s Elliott Fry nailed a 40-yard kick in the second overtime and Missouri’s Andrew Baggett clanged his 24-yard attempt of the upright to give the Gamecocks an improbable win. The Tigers were cruising along with a 17-0 lead in the fourth quarter, but USC turned to an injured Connor Shaw off the bench. He was magical, leading the way to two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, including a two-yarder to Nick Jones with just 42 seconds to play, and a 15-yard throw to Bruce Ellington on fourth down in the first overtime to keep the game alive. Maty Mauk connected with L’Damian Washington on a 96-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, and marched the Tigers to a scoring drive, capped off by a one-yard Marcus Murphy run, for a 24-17 overtime lead, but the defense couldn’t hold.
- Missouri needs to have a short memory. It would’ve all but won the SEC East by getting by the Gamecocks, but it still controls its own destiny and will win the SEC title by winning out. It won’t be easy, but beat Tennessee, Kentucky on the road, Ole Miss on the road, and Texas A&M, and it’s on to Atlanta.
- The gameplan didn’t turn conservative, but Maty Mauk misfired a bit too much, completing 10-of-25 throws for 249 yards – and 96 of them coming on one play – for the coaching staff to trust him late. For all the problems in the secondary and with all the pain of the meltdown/choke, if the laces were pointed the right way on two Andrew Baggett field goals, and if he hits either one, it’s over. The team really did play well enough to win, but that’s life in the SEC. When you kill something, make sure it’s dead.

at Missouri 36 … Florida 17
Basically … Missouri took the lead just 22 seconds into the game on a 20-yard Bud Sasser touchdown catch, and it never trailed the rest of the way as Andrew Baggett hit five field goals and Maty Mauk ran for a score and threw for another. Florida opened up the second half with a Solomon Patton kickoff return for a touchdown, and it pulled within six late in the third quarter on a Kelvin Taylor 20-yard scoring dash, but Mizzou scored 13 unanswered points in the fourth.
- So much for worrying about whether or not Maty Mauk could handle the big game. He only completed half of his passes and he had a pick and a few close calls, but he threw for 295 yards and a score. This was one of the nation’s most fearsome defenses, and Missouri came up with 500 yards of total offense.
- Michael Sam might be the best defensive player in America this season. He thoroughly whipped the Florida offensive front finishing with three sacks. Kony Ealy is even quicker on the other side, and it showed with constant pressure all game long.

Missouri 41, at Georgia 26
Basically …It turned out to be a fight, but Missouri had all the points it would need in the first half helped by touchdown runs from James Franklin and Marcus Murphy along with a 16-yard touchdown catch from L’Damian Washington, but it was a 21-yard fumble return for a score from Michael Sam that turned the tide. Georgia rallied in the second half with Aaron Murray throwing two touchdown passes to pull within two – missing a two-point conversion – but with all the momentum on the other side, Mizzou came through with a trick play 40-yard touchdown pass to Washington, and following an interception from Murray, a seven-yard Henry Josey scoring run to put it away.
- Mizzou came up with its biggest win since joining the SEC, and one of the biggest wins in the Gary Pinkel era. Georgia might have been banged up and bruised, but the Tigers took care of business and now, after a 5-7 season, are bowl eligible and knee-deep in the SEC East title hunt. They didn’t turn the ball over, but they made a slew of mistakes – committing ten penalties and missing an extra point – but they got the win.
- Aaron Murray did what he could, throwing for 290 yards and three touchdowns, but he also gave up two key picks. The receivers just weren’t dynamic enough and the running game didn’t take over, even though J.J. Green ran for a strong 87 yards and Brendan Douglas ran hard.
- Missouri won the battle, but it lost some key players with star corner E.J. Gaines knocked out with a leg injury and QB James Franklin suffering a shoulder injury. The Tigers survived with a great pass rush, constant pressure, and just enough plays on defense to hold on.
- Georgia’s injury problems hit hardest in the secondary. The offense was out of sync, but the communication wasn’t there at safety in the first half. The play improved in the second, but when Mizzou needed the big play, it got it.

Missouri 51, at Vanderbilt 28
Basically … Missouri took control right away with a 20-0 first quarter lead helped by two of James Franklin’s four touchdown passes with two of Andrew Baggett’s three field goals. The first of two Henry Josey scoring runs helped Mizzou take a 30-7 halftime lead, and the team coasted from there. Vanderbilt tried to fight back with two Austin Carta-Samuels touchdown passes and a two-yard scoring run, but the Tigers always had an answer. The Commodores never truly threatened.
- Very, very quietly, Missouri is getting better and better. It’s as if the offense is finding its stride at just the right time, with James Franklin razor-sharp when he needed to be throwing four touchdown passes and spreading the ball around to his big receivers extremely well. Now it’s time to go big game hunting with Georgia up next.
- Now at 0-3 in the SEC, Vanderbilt has to work really, really hard to not lose its focus. There’s still time to come up with three more wins to go bowling, but the team isn’t physical enough or effective enough to deal with Georgia, Texas A&M and Florida over next three games. Unless the run defense improves, this could get ugly fast.
- What was Missouri’s biggest problem last year? Being physical on the lines. Beating up Vanderbilt isn’t like pushing around Florida or Georgia, but the Tigers handled Vandy well , pounding away for 245 yards, while the D held up well under pressure. DE Michael Sam came up with a great day up front making three sacks.
- It’s not a positive when Kenny Ladler is leading Vanderbilt in tackles. The free safety came up with a few nice plays, but his 14 tackles mostly came after the Tigers came up with a nice play.

at Missouri 41, Arkansas State 19
Basically … Missouri was a bit sluggish early on, down 16-14 in the third quarter, but in the rain, it got three touchdown passes from James Franklin with two to Dorial Green-Beckham, starting out with a 68-yard scoring play in the second quarter. However, Arkansas State was ahead early with three Brian Davis field goals and a 17-yard Julian Jones touchdown catch. Mizzou took control in the third quarter and dominated the rest of the way, outscoring the Red Wolves 27-3.
- It might not have been a perfect performance, and it might have taken a little while to get rolling, but Missouri did what it needed to get by. James Franklin continues to be impressive, completing 20-of-29 passes for 255 yards and three scores, and he ran for 33 yards and a touchdown. Once everyone got settled in, the game was over in the second half.
- Arkansas State wasted an opportunity. The defense didn’t hold up, but the offense settled to field goal after field goal when the chances were there to take a big lead early on. Brian Davis came through with four field goals, but the score could’ve easily have been 24-14 ASU in the first half instead of 16-14 Tigers.
- It seems like Dorial Green-Beckham is on the verge of going from great to truly special. He only caught four passes, but they went for 95 yards and two touchdowns. He doesn’t have to make 11 catches per outing, but he’s looking the part of a true No. 1. Defensively, Mizzou’s Andrew Wilson came up with 17 stops, stuffing the ASU ground game.
- Adam Kennedy threw for 308 yards and a touchdown, doing what he could for the ASU offense. It wasn’t enough, especially in the second half. The yards were there, but the offense sputtered and couldn’t score when it had to. It couldn’t keep up the pace.

Missouri 45, at Indiana 28
Basically … James Franklin was terrific, running for a touchdown and throwing for 343 yards and two touchdowns with a seven-yard scoring pass to Dorial Green-Beckham and a 14-yarder to L’Damian Washington. Indiana had major problems with turnovers, with Nate Sudfeld throwing three including a pick six to Kona Ealy. Indiana showed off its explosiveness with a 68-yard Shane Wynn touchdown catch from Tre Roberson and a 77-yard Cody Latimer pass play to set up a two-yard Tevin Coleman touchdown run, but Mizzou’s 38-14 lead was too much to overcome.
- Missouri gave the ball away three times early, but it only got burned by one of the turnovers. Franklin moved the ball at will, getting plenty of time to throw and utilizing his huge receivers well. The running game showed depth and options, too, with Marcus Murphy, Henry Josey and Russell Hansbrough, along with Franklin, running ten times or more.
- And there’s the problem. The high-powered warp-speed offense is great, but when it’s not working, the defense gets gassed. Indiana only held on to the ball for 23:15 with the offense getting off the field way too often early on.
- Mizzou couldn’t generate much pressure against the sped-up Hoosier attack, but the defensive front was effective and the secondary held up more than fine. E.J. Gaines was his normally fantastic self with five tackles with a broken up pass.
- What’s Indiana going to do with the quarterback situation now? Nate Sudfeld threw three picks, and while one was on a late heavy at the end of the first half, there was still a problem with the effectiveness. Tre Roberson, with his running ability, brings more of an option to the attack.

at Missouri 38, Toledo 23, Sept. 7
Basically … Henry Josey ran for two short touchdowns and Markus Golden returned an interception 70 yards for a score as Missouri got by a plucky Toledo. Down 24-9, the Rockets came back with a scoring run from Terrance Owens and a 41-yard touchdown pass to Alonzo Russell, but the Tigers scored 14 unanswered points and the defense held on. Jeremiah Detmer hit three field goals for Toledo.
- Toledo only ran for 125 yards, but Missouri’s defensive front had problems getting gashed by David Fluellen for 111 yards on just 17 carries, and ten catches for 100 yards. There were a few missed tackles that turned into problems.
- James Franklin was fine, but nothing special. He completed 16-of-25 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown with a pick, and he led the Tigers with 77 rushing yards – that’s not a plus. The running backs have to handle the workload.
- Why isn’t Mizzou pushing the ball deep to Dorial Green-Beckham? He caught five passes for 51 yards, but he’s a devastating weapon waiting to be unleashed.
- Toledo QB Terrance Owens has to keep the turnovers to a minimum. He got the offense working – Fluellen had a lot to do with that – but the three picks were a killer.

at Missouri 58, Murray State 14, Aug. 31
Basically … Murray State hung tough … for a quarter. The Racers took a 14-13 lead on a Maikhai Miller five-yard touchdown catch, and then it was all Mizzou as it rolled for 45 unanswered points. James Franklin threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns, while the ground game rumbled for 358 yards and five touchdowns highlighted by a 68-yard Henry Josey scoring dash in the third.
- That’s how the offense is supposed to work. After all the problems last year, at least for one week, the attack opened things up without any sort of issue after the first quarter. Franklin was sharp, Dorial Green-Beckham made a few big plays, and best of all, Josey showed he was back from his knee injury with 113 yards on 13 carries.
- E.J. Gaines started his All-America résumé with two picks. He’s one of the nation’s best defensive backs, but he got a little help from the defense that turned up the intensity after a rocky first quarter.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited ... This might be a different-looking team if everyone is back and healthy. Quarterback James Franklin had an odd season, fighting through injures and never really establishing himself as the type of Johnny Manziel-like all-around playmaker he was supposed to grow into. He lit up Tennessee and he did what he could against Georgia, but he missed a bulk of the season and was never the player he was throughout 2011. Now he’s back and healthy, and the big hope is for running back Henry Josey to finally be back and ready to go after missing all of last year recovering from a brutal knee injury two seasons ago. It’s putting a lot of eggs in one basket, but if he’s close to being back to form, and if star receiver prospect Dorial Green-Beckham can start to play up to his ability, the potential is there to come up with a night-and-day turnaround. Getting back four starters on the line will help.

Why To Be Grouchy ... Is Mizzou built for the big time? Now the Tigers know what life is like in the SEC. It really was a different style of play from the Big 12, and while Texas A&M was able to take its conference by storm with Kevin Sumlin and Johnny Manziel coming up with tremendous years, Mizzou struggled to adapt to grown man football. Injuries played a big role, and there was never any offensive consistency, but more than anything else, the team just wasn’t good enough – Gary Pinkel noticed, too. This offseason, the offense has to be sharper, more of the playmakers have to emerge on both sides of the ball, and the defense has to improve and get saltier despite the loss of its best to players, future NFLers Sheldon Richardson at tackle and linebacker Zaviar Gooden.

What Needs Working On ... The Tigers have to find the passing game again. There might be lots of talk about getting tougher and better, but this year’s team can’t navigate its way through the SEC waters without being Missouri on the short-to-midrange passing game. Pinkel’s teams have been known for having highly efficient, tremendously effective air shows, but last year’s attack finished a shocking 103rd in the nation in passing efficiency with the passing yards mostly coming to catch up rather than attack. Things started to work late in the year, but now Franklin and the offense have to be better.

Non-Conference Games: Murray State, Toledo, at Indiana, Arkansas State
Games Against The West: at Ole Miss, Texas A&M
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 5-7
Likely Finish: 7-5

Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Murray State, Toledo, at Indiana, Arkansas State, at Vanderbilt, Tennessee, at Kentucky

Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, at Ole Miss, Texas A&M

Schedule Analysis: The Tigers are getting their share of tune-up games before having to dive into the meat of the schedule. Starting out against Murray State and hosing Toledo should get everyone warmed up before getting a week off to prepare for Indiana. Arkansas State is a must win before going to Vanderbilt with, most likely, a shot at a 5-0 start if everything goes according to plan. And then the fun starts.

Mizzou has a rough stretch after the trip to Vandy with a road trip to Georgia followed up by home games against Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. If the Tigers can win a few of those, there’s a chance to be in a position for a nice bowl game with a road game at Kentucky to close out the stretch. As tough as the schedule is over the back half, getting a week off will help before closing out the regular season against the two teams on the slate from the West with a trip to Ole Miss and finishing against Texas A&M.

Team Concerns For 2013: Will James Franklin be healthy and can the quarterback play be back up to Mizzou snuff? Dorial Green-Beckham and the receiving corps is in place, but either Franklin or Corbin Berkstresser has to get them all the ball after a disastrous season throwing the ball. The running game has to be better - hoping for Henry Josey to be back and healthy - and the line has to be more physical needing to start playing big boy football. The defense has to be better at getting to the quarterback and has to keep the big pass plays to a minimum.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. The Tiger defensive line has to be tougher and more physical, and that starts with with tackle Josh Augusta and Antar Thompson to try to get the front four to an elite SEC level. Running back Chase Abbington is a talent who'll get a long look early on, and offensive tackle Clay Rhodes should be a starter once he adds about 30 pounds of muscle. The Tigers, though, were built by Gary Pinkel to get the offense going, and that means Trent Hosick out of Kansas City and Eddie Printz out of Georgia need to recapture the magic of recent great passers and playmakers. Neither one is a Blaine Gabbert-like first round draft pick, but getting another Chase Daniel wouldn't be bad.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 38. That Class Was Heavy On ... Top-shelf players. Helping out the linebacking corps would be nice, and getting a few more defensive linemen to go with last year’s haul would be a plus, but with the move coming to the SEC the Tigers need to get far stronger and far better across the board. Head coach Gary Pinkel has a good-looking class coming in, but he needs to land as many four-and-five star prospects as possible with so many areas already looking good for the next few years. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 21. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The last two classes brought in the skill players, but Gary Pinkel didn’t ignore the stars this year with another great quarterback prospect in Corbin Berkstresser and big, Tiger-like targets in Wesley Leftwich and Brandon Hannah. The offensive line got stronger at guard, and the secondary got some reinforcements, but the strength is on the defensive front where JUCO transfer Sheldon Richardson will be an All-Big 12 star now, and end Shane Ray will soon be another Aldon Smith. Gerrand Johnson will be a monster of an inside presence once he hits the weights.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 39. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. It was a bit of a strange class considering Gary Pinkel and his staff signed a slew of skill players last year, but this year's haul might be even more talented. Quarterbacks James Franklin and Tyler Gabbert will have years to work and develop behind Tyler's brother, Blaine Gabbert. WR Marcus Lucas won't fill the hole left by Danario Alexander, but he's another big, fast target with NFL upside. Up front, Nick Demien is a great offensive tackle prospect who should be the anchor by 2013. End Kony Ealy leads the defensive side as the team's top end prospect.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 39. That Class Was Heavy On ... offensive reinforcements. The defense was hardly ignored with DT Sheldon Richardson a sure-thing All-Big 12 talent and JUCO transfer Josh Tatum is a plug-n-play linebacker, but with all the superstars gone off the offense, head coach Gary Pinkel had to find a new wave of offensive prospects to develop. Blaine Dalton is a smallish quarterback who can move, while RB Kendial Lawrence and receivers Jaleel Clark and Kerwin Stricker are going to be counted on to shine by 2011.


Related Stories
CFN 2008 Top 10 Player Race
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Nov 28, 2008
Thought: SEC MUST Be In BCS Championship
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Nov 11, 2012
2013-2014 Bowl Matchups
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Dec 8, 2013








Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Missouri
[View My HotList]