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February 23, 2011
Missouri opens spring football practice in exactly two weeks. Leading up to the first practice, PowerMizzou.com will give Tiger fans an in-depth look at the roster at each position. We will also have a series of articles highlighting some of the major storylines to follow this spring. Today, we take a look at the cornerbacks.
The Starters: Corner is the only position where Missouri is looking to replace multiple starters from last season. Gone are Carl Gettis and Kevin Rutland. Junior Kip Edwards looks like a shoe-in to grab one starting spot. The other, going off last year's end-of-the-season depth chart, should be sophomore E.J. Gaines to open the spring.
The Challengers: The Tigers have a wealth of both experience and incoming youth at corner. Robert Steeples and Trey Hobson have both seen a good amount of action. Youngsters like Xavier Smith and Tristen Holt are coming off redshirt seasons and offer promise. Again, it looks like the Tigers will have six corners competing for playing time.
Major Spring Storyline: There are six players competing, basically, for four spots. Edwards and Gaines are the likely starters in our opinion. Hobson may have a lead on Steeples as far as the returning players here. The big question is whether Smith, Holt, or both, push for major time, and perhaps even the third corner spot.
Coming out of Spring: We see Hobson emerging as the third corner out of spring, though that doesn't mean it stays that way throughout fall camp. At this point, it's tough for us to differentiate between Holt and Smith. Which player separates himself in the spring and gets a leg up heading into August? It will be a story we will follow closely throughout spring ball.
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