Missouri Tigers Position Preview: Tight End

Peter FleischerSenior Writer IJuly 1, 2008

It's been a few days since my wide receiver preview, but now I'm back on track with the next edition of the Missouri Tigers position previews.

It's never easy to replace an NFL draft pick, but the Missouri Tigers look to do just that at the tight end position. However, some think that the incumbent Chase Coffman will be even better then Martin Rucker, so the position will likely see little-to-no drop off.


As mentioned, Coffman already has a lot of experience and notoriety, both nationally and in Columbia. His huge 6'6'' frame and great leaping and running ability has some projecting him as a better pro prospect then Martin Rucker, and he already has 20 TD in Tiger Black and Gold, a school record.

While Coffman will be a primary target for the first time in his career, backup Jon Gissinger will also be seeing a lot of playing time for the first time in his days at Mizzou. His size (6'3'' 240 lbs.) and tutelage for the past couple seasons will make him a solid option. 

True freshman Andrew Jones, a Coffman clone, might see the field this fall. Another option is WR-TE hybrid Wes Kemp, who has a strong build with lightning speed. Kemp will almost certainly forgo a redshirt, while Jones probably will as well.

As long as Coffman, who has had injuries in the past, can stay healthy, this unit will be very fun to watch. Coffman's reckless and physical style of play will help Tiger fans forget about Rucker, and Gissinger should contribute as well.

With other weapons being used more often (Maclin, Perry, Washington), the TE spot might not get as many throws as they have in the past. However, it's sure to be another strong year at a school that has developed a reputation for breeding quality players at that position.