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July 28, 2011
PowerMizzou.com will get Tiger fans ready for fall camp like no one else. Camp opens on Thursday, August 4th. Between now and then, we will provide an in-depth preview at every position on the roster. Today, we look at the defensive line.
Nowhere is Missouri more loaded than at defensive end. Jacquies Smith and Brad Madison have a chance to be the league's top tandem. Inside, the starters are Terrell Resonno and a healthy Dominique Hamilton for now.
On the edge, Kony Ealy evoked talk of Aldon Smith all spring. Brayden Burnett and Michael Sam should be in the mix as well. If needed, Shane Ray could lend some depth, though a redshirt seems more likely. Inside, Jimmy Burge is back, along with Marvin Foster and Lucas Vincent, who drew high praise over the summer. But the key question here is two-fold: Will Sheldon Richardson be on campus for the first fall practice (it is expected he will) and just how good can he be? Richardson is an elite talent. It will not be a surprise to see him in the starting lineup by the time the Big 12 season begins.
How often can you lose a top ten player in the NFL Draft and still feel confident his position is the best on the roster? That's where Missouri is at defensive end. Inside, Hamilton's return is huge. Resonno played well and good things have been said about Vincent and Foster. But Richardson is really the wild card here. He has the ability to take a very good defensive line and make it the best in the conference.
Is Richardson ready to go? Does his presence light a fire under Resonno? Is Hamilton the same player he was before an ankle injury? All questions that have to be answered in camp.
Madison is a pre-season all-Big 12 player. Smith could be one. Hamilton has that ability as does Richardson. We're not saying the Tigers are going to have four all-conference players on the defensive line. That would be ridiculous. We are saying they have a chance to have the best front four in the league.
Nobody covers the Tigers year-round like PowerMizzou.com. All of our previews leading up to the first practice will be free content. If you are not yet a member, just try out our free trial.