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DE Brad Madison, Missouri
With QB Blaine Gabbert off to the NFL, it’s unlikely that this Missouri team is going to get a ton of national love this summer.
The Tigers will probably be picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 after the likes of Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.
But as we’ve seen before, if there’s one team and one coach who you should never underestimate and count out, it’s Missouri and Gary Pinkel.
The Tigers have averaged 10 wins over the last four years under Pinkel’s watch, and he’s the type of coach who has learned a thing or two in the past about losing a talented quarterback.
Gabbert might be gone, but his replacement, James Franklin, is no slouch.
Franklin is a former 4-star recruit out of Dallas, and there’s no doubt that he’s got the versatile skill set to add a new dimension to Missouri’s spread based attack.
At his disposal, Franklin will have one of the best receiving corps in the country, led by the likes of Michael Egnew, T.J. Moe, and Jerrell Jackson .
On defense, the Tigers lose top 10 pick DE Aldon Smith, but somehow, their defensive end depth will still be as deep as any other team's in the country.
Ends Brad Madison and Jacquies Smith are a devastating pass-rushing duo that combined for 13 sacks in 2010.
They aren’t the only premier duo on defense either, as Missouri also has one of the best linebacker combinations in the nation with Zaviar Gooden and Will Ebner.
In all, Missouri returns 15 starters from the 2010 squad, and the only major question mark is how well Franklin will perform right out of the gate.
If the sophomore signal caller plays well, Missouri could be set up for a monster season.