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February 28, 2011

Five fresh faces

Missouri starts spring football in just more than one week and PowerMizzou.com will be the complete source for all Tiger fans leading up to the Black and Gold game. Today, we continue our spring previews with a look at five players who should see an expanded role next season and could be poised for big things in the spring.

James Franklin and Tyler Gabbert, QB: For the time being, these two are going to be lumped together. Franklin played some last season while Gabbert redshirted. These are the two leading candidates to take over after Blaine Gabbert's two-year run as the starting quarterback. A starter may not emerge during spring ball as the two are expected to compete heavily through the summer.

Jimmie Hunt, WR: Hunt turned heads daily in fall camp last year, but suffered an ankle injury that kept him from seeing the field. The Cahokia, IL native has a chance to push the returning starters at receiver and also could get a look in the return games.

Bud Sasser, WR: Sasser also redshirted last season and the Denton, TX product made a number of plays during bowl practices that generated some buzz. The Tigers have a lot of bodies at wideout, but not a lot of proven game-day talent beyond the starters. Sasser could begin a push for some serious playing time.

Kony Ealy, DE: Missouri is deep at defensive end even with the departure of Aldon Smith, but Ealy's is a name we heard quite a bit over the season and bowl practices. With a spot opening up through Smith's departure, the New Madrid native has a chance to make a splash in the spring.

Greg White, RB: The Tigers return their top four rushers from a year ago, but none really separated himself from the others last season. In addition, White brings size to the position that none of the top four can. It will be interesting to see how White develops and what his role in the offense could be this season.

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