February 27, 2008

Spring preview: Tigers reload at wideout

Missouri opens spring football practice on March 11th, just 13 days from now. Over the next two weeks, PowerMizzou.com will be previewing the most anticipated spring in school history from every possible angle. Today, we take a look at the wide receiver position:

The Top Storyline: The major story here will not develop until the fall when players like Rolandis Woodland and Wes Kemp show up. At that point, it will be interesting to see how many of the newcomers can push for time on the field. That is why this spring is so big for Thomas and Goldsmith, along with the walk-ons. Of those five players, three of them will likely impress enough (along with Perry, Alexander, Maclin and Saunders) to at least put themselves in position for some playing time. All four will have a battle on their hands come fall camp, but none of the newcomers are on hand to make that early impression on the coaches. This group will have to be good this spring to be in good standing come August.

Position Rating: The Tigers last year had one of the best receiving corps in the nation, and one of the top two in the Big 12. With the loss of Will Franklin, they might not be quite on that level to start the season. However, Maclin is as good as any and could be a pre-season all-American. Saunders is simply the most steady performer on the team. He does whatever is asked. If Alexander can come back in pre-injury form, this unit has a chance to match last year's. If not, they'll need a new face to step up. Until we see proof that Danario is ready to go or one of the newcomers can make impacts like Perry and Maclin did as freshmen, we're going with a 7.5 here.

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