Missouri Football: The 7 Best Offensive Players on the Squad
The Missouri Tigers offense welcomes nine starters back from the 2010 squad, many of whom are multiple year starters at their positions.
James Franklin takes over for Jacksonville Jaguars first-round pick Blaine Gabbert at the quarterback position. Four of the starting offensive linemen are back as well as the entire receiving corps.
In 2010, the Tigers averaged 29.4 PPG and over 400 yards of total offense a game.
Let's take a look at the seven best players on the Missouri Tigers squad in 2011.
7. James Franklin
Sophomore James Franklin is a talented young signal caller poised to become the next great Missouri Tiger quarterback.
Franklin (6'2", 235 lbs.) played in almost every game last season, scoring three total touchdowns as a wildcat quarterback and change-of-pace runner. He had a solid spring for the Tigers, displaying his excellent touch on passes and ability to run downhill.
Franklin was the No.4 rated dual-threat quarterback in the country coming out of high school. He will have the opportunity to thrive in the Missouri spread offense as the leader of the unit.
He's one of the most talented players on the roster and will get the chance to display his talent in 2011.
6. Kendial Lawrence
Of all of the running backs in Mizzou's four-man running back rotation, Kendial Lawrence is the most complete of the bunch.
Lawrence saw a lot of action in 2010, rushing for 422 yards and four rushing touchdowns. He has great breakaway speed and a versatile running style for the Tigers.
He will be in a dogfight for carries in the Tiger backfield, but if you had to take one running back based off sheer talent Lawrence would be the most talented on the roster.
Lawrence will make his case to be the team's feature back in the 2011 season.
5. Jerrell Jackson
A three-year starter from Houston, senior wide receiver Jerrell Jackson looks to be one of the bigger play makers in the Big 12 conference for the Missouri Tigers.
Jackson posted solid numbers this past season, racking up 656 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He has made some spectacular catches in traffic during his Mizzou career and figures to step into a big-time leadership role as a senior on a very experienced team.
Jackson can become hot-headed at times during the course of a game, but he's a tough player whose numbers have improved each year he has played.
Look for Jerrell Jackson to be a reliable target for new starting quarterback James Franklin in 2011.
4. Elvis Fisher
Starting left tackle Elvis Fisher has manned the blind side of the Tiger offensive line since he was a redshirt freshman in 2008.
Fisher is a 6'5", 295 pound giant responsible for keeping the quarterback off the ground. He has done so masterfully, starting in 40 consecutive games and earning multiple Big 12 honors.
Fisher comes back for his final season in 2011 and his leadership will be pivotal for maintaining Missouri's status as one of the best offensive lines in all of college football.
3. Dan Hoch
Dan Hoch is a mammoth 6'7", 240 pound right tackle who will contend for the best lineman in the Big 12 conference award as well as one of the best in the NCAA.
Hoch was the first-ever true freshman to start on the offensive line for Gary Pinkel at Mizzou and he hasn't looked back starting every game of his college career. Hoch is the leader of an offensive line that only allowed 22 sacks in 2010.
The second-team All Big-12 right tackle will be a driving force on the right side of the line for the Tigers and instrumental in the team's new-found focus on establishing a running game.
With another great season in Columbia, Dan Hoch could be on his way to a high-round NFL Draft selection.
2. T.J. Moe
T.J. Moe's tough-nosed, grinder mentality helped him emerge as one of the best slot receivers in the country in 2010.
Moe's sophomore campaign was wildly successful as the young receiver tallied over 1,000 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Performances against San Diego St. (the Moe Miracle) and Iowa (16 catches) have earned him the respect of fans and peers alike in college football.
Moe was second-team All-Big 12 and near the top of the country in wider receiver production. He will be one of the go-to guys in the Mizzou offense for 2011.
If he can improve on his 2010 numbers, he will emerge as the premier player at the slot receiver position in the Big 12.
1. Michael Egnew
One of the biggest surprises in college football last season, tight end Michael Egnew is the best player on the Missouri Tiger roster.
The 6'6", 245 pound Egnew had an All-American season in 2010, catching 90 passes for 762 yards and five touchdowns. Egnew caught everything that was thrown his way last year and proved that he has some of the best hands in the country.
He will be the front runner for the John Mackey award given to the best tight end in the nation, as well as the All-American roster.
He was voted the Most Valuable Player on the Tiger team by his teammates last season for a reason and Tiger fans should expect more of the same from Michael Egnew in 2011.