The Missouri Tigers are only a few months away from kicking off their inaugural season in the SEC. They return a lot of playmakers on both sides of the ball, but injuries to a couple of offensive weapons are the concern as the offseason takes place.
The spring is officially over for the newbies of the conference, but that doesn't mean that the news stops for college football.
Here is the latest Missouri Tigers news and updates as we inch closer to the 2012 season.
One of the perks of joining the SEC is that it really helps in the recruiting department. Missouri has learned this quickly as they had a very solid 2012 class of 20 talented recruits, including the top overall prospect in Dorial Green-Beckham.
For the 2013 class, the Tigers have already landed 11 prospects, including most recently 3-star defensive tackle Antar Thompson. There are many that have high hopes for this kid, as he has the ability to play anywhere on the defensive line.
"My goal is to be able to play defensive end. I have dropped about 50lbs and gotten faster. So, we'll see, but I know I can also play DT as well." Thompson said (via Scout).
Thompson is currently 6'3", 290 pounds and says that he likes what the Tigers are doing and wanted to stay close to home.
"Missouri coaches came to my school on Tuesday and I thought about it the rest of the week and realized that I didn't need to wait. I want to stay home and be near my family and have them come see me play,"
The Tigers' biggest concern entering the 2012 season is the health of quarterback James Franklin. He suffered a shoulder injury during spring practice and had to undergo surgery.
Team physician Pat Smith says that the shoulder is improving and that if this pace continues, he'll be ready for the season opener on September 1.
"It's obviously a rush to have this injury when he did in March and try to be ready for August and throw and all that, but at this point I'd say we're cautiously optimistic," Smith said. "His motion is coming along nicely, and so far, so good."
Franklin is obviously the leader of this offense, but the Tigers will likely go as far as he takes them. Last year he threw for 2,865 yards, rushed for 981 yards and combined for 36 touchdowns.
As for running back Henry Josey, the future doesn't look as bright. He suffered a torn ACL and Smith isn't sure if he'll even be able to participate at all this season.
"I don't think (returning this fall) is very realistic … We're not really even talking about that right now," Smith said. "This was all about taking a very severe injury and just trying to get it right for him long-term."
This article will be updated throughout the offseason and into the fall with any injury updates, position battles or other breaking news concerning the Missouri Tigers.