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August 1, 2011
Fall camp starts for the Tigers on Thursday, August 4th. Missouri returns 17 starters, but there will be plenty of competition not only for starting spots, but also further down the depth chart. PowerMizzou.com continues our free camp previews by focusing on five players who may be new names to most fans, but could be poised to break out this fall:
Sheldon Richardson: Yes, we went there. Despite overriding skepticism, all indications (and public comments from the coach) are that Richardson is expected to report on Wednesday. From what we're hearing, his conditioning isn't a concern. The fact is, the kid was the No. 4 player in America two years ago. You don't get there without having serious talent. Is it unreasonable to expect Richardson to start at some point this season? Not in our minds.
E.J. Gaines: To be honest, Gaines kind of broke out last year. But as a first-time starter, he has a chance to be a household name to Tiger fans. If Gaines and Kip Edwards exceed their performances from last year, Missouri can play a lot of man-to-man and defense gets a whole lot easier when that's the case.
Bud Sasser: Sasser was perhaps the least heralded of the three receivers Missouri landed in its 2010 recruiting class. But throughout the spring, he was the one who made the most plays in practice. Missouri has a slew of young players looking to break into a crowded rotation at receiver. Sasser could very well be at the top of the list come the season opener.
Lucas Vincent: Behind the scenes, good things were said about Vincent throughout his redshirt season. Missouri has plenty of bodies at defensive tackle, but not necessarily many proven bodies. Don't count Vincent out to compete for a spot on the two-deep by the season's first game.
Kony Ealy: This one is hardly a secret. Anyone who saw Missouri practice in the spring knows No. 97. His play (and his build) evoked talk of Aldon Smith in the month of April. Now, can he do it in August when he'll be facing the No. 1 offensive line on a daily basis? And can he crash the party to solidify himself on the two-deep at Missouri's most loaded position?
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.