Five Key Storylines to Watch as Mizzou Football Begins Spring Practice

Explore the five key storylines that will shape Mizzou football’s journey as they begin spring practice, including the offensive line shuffle, adjusting to a new defensive coordinator, new defensive leaders, kicking and punting vacancies, and handling high expectations.

Offensive Line Shuffle: Filling the Void

Mizzou football faces a challenge on the offensive line as they begin spring practice. The departures of Javon Foster and Xavier Delgado have left a void on the left side. However, the addition of Oklahoma transfer Cayden Green brings high-level experience and potential to the team. The question remains: Will Green play tackle or guard?

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Head coach Eliah Drinkwitz has stated that Green will start camp practicing at tackle but maintains positional flexibility. If Green moves to tackle, redshirt freshman Logan Reichert or Tristan Wilson may step up at left guard. On the other hand, if Green stays at guard, Armand Membou could transition to left tackle. The offensive line shuffle will be a key storyline to watch as the Tigers look to solidify their line and protect their quarterback.

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( Credit to: Rockmnation )

Adjusting to Corey Batoon’s Defensive Scheme

With the departure of defensive coordinator Blake Baker, Mizzou football must adjust to Corey Batoon’s defensive scheme. Batoon brings valuable experience and a track record of success to the team. While the Tigers will stick with the successful 4-2-5 system, Batoon will make necessary changes to tailor it to his coaching style.

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( Credit to: Rockmnation )

Observing the players’ and coaches’ impressions of Batoon’s coaching style and scheme will be crucial in evaluating the team’s defensive progress during spring practice. The adjustment period may take time, but the Tigers’ defensive unit will be focused on maintaining their momentum from last season and continuing to excel under Batoon’s guidance.

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( Credit to: Rockmnation )

New Defensive Leaders: Stepping Up to the Challenge

The departure of several veteran leaders on defense creates an opportunity for new players to step up and take on leadership roles. Linebackers Chuck Hicks and Triston Newson are expected to be key leaders, bringing their experience and knowledge to the team.

Safety Joseph Charleston, with his experience from Clemson, will also play a crucial role in the team’s leadership. Additionally, players like Dreyden Norwood, Marcus Clarke, and Tre’Vez Johnson have gained valuable experience and could assume larger roles in the defense.

Establishing the hierarchy of leadership within the defensive unit will be a focal point during spring practice. The new leaders will need to rally the team, communicate effectively, and ensure a cohesive and strong defense for the upcoming season.

Kicking and Punting Vacancies: Finding the Specialists

The departure of standout kicker Harrison Mevis leaves a void in the place kicking position. The coaching staff will need to evaluate their options and potentially bring in another kicker during the April transfer cycle. Redshirt freshman Blake Craig is a potential candidate, but competition for the position will be fierce.

On the punting side, Luke Bauer returns as a redshirt senior, but Murray State transfer Orion Phillips will challenge him for the starting role. The spring practice will be crucial in evaluating the performance and potential of these players, as the team aims to solidify their kicking and punting positions for the upcoming season.

Handling High Expectations: Staying Focused

After a remarkable 2023 season, Mizzou football finds themselves in uncharted territory. The team went from being underestimated to being the hunted. Now, the challenge lies in maintaining and improving upon their success.

The players and coaching staff must handle the increased attention and expectations while avoiding complacency. The mental fortitude and hunger of the team will be tested as they navigate through the offseason and prepare for the upcoming season.

Staying focused and maintaining a strong work ethic will be crucial in handling the high expectations. The team must continue to push themselves and strive for excellence, knowing that every game will be a battle as they aim to build upon their achievements from last season.

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