Mizzou Tigers

Mizzou Practice No. 11: depth chart changes

Tigers have a new starter at weakside linebacker, also have some freshmen moving up the depth chart

Depth chart changes

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou's first practice since the Saturday scrimmage had to be moved indoors midway through the session.  The weather has been nothing if not consistent through the first couple weeks of camp: mild and wet.

  • Injury update: Starting safety Matt White (groin) was in a red bib.  If he doesn't come out of that thing soon, he may get bypassed by sophomore Ian Simon, who is having a strong camp.  Cornberback John Gibson (ankle) is also still in a red bib.  So, too, is freshman tight end Jason Reese (ankle).  Wide receiver Wesley Leftwich (hamstring) of Hickman High School was the only player wearing a full non-contact red jersey.

It doesn't take too many practices to figure out the significance of Mizzou's stretch lines in practice.  It is a direct reflection of the depth chart as it stands in that particular moment.

Monday brought the first significant preseason changes to the depth chart this fall.

Sophomore Kentrell Brothers, coming off a strong performance in the scrimmage in which he intercepted a pass, moved ahead of junior Darvin Ruise for the starting spot at weakside linebacker.

"In Kentrell's situation, he's making the right reads.  He's growing through the program.  He's using his athleticism... He's doing a nice job with it."

Those were the words of defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Dave Steckel when asked about what evaluations the coaches make to determine whether or not a player should be moved up or down the depth chart.

The back end of the defense may be where the only true freshman sees significant playing time in 2013.  

Head coach Gary Pinkel has specifically mentioned cornerback Aarion Penton on more than one occasion as a player from that class to stand out. 

After Monday morning's workout, Pinkel said, "He did some good things (in Saturday's scrimmage).  We're going to give him some more opportunities up there with the twos to see if he can get in the four deep or be the fifth corner (in the) nickel (or) dime."

Pinkel followed that up by expressing his pleasure with the freshman class overall.

Perhaps no freshman had a more eye-popping stat sheet in the scrimmage than quarterback Eddie Printz.

The Marietta, Ga. native completed 15 of 16 passes (93.8%).  Those 15 completions, however, netted only 97 yards.

Still, the coaching staff was impressed enough with Printz's work that Pinkel disclosed he will be getting some future reps with the third-team offense. 

"You don't see much drop-off when he's in there," says quarterbacks coach Andy Hill.  "You see him having good enthusiasm, good leadership.  And the bottom line is he's throwing the football, and the guys are catching it."

What this Printz promotion may mean for Corbin Berkstresser at the moment, though, is unknown.

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