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July 29, 2008
Top Ten Tigers: Center of attention
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Fall camp is now just six days away. Over the next week, leading up to the day of the first practice, PowerMizzou.com will count down the ten most important Tigers for the 2008 season. The list was made up with a look at past performance, expected impact during the 2008 season and depth at any given position. Today, we continue the countdown.
6. Tim Barnes
The quick take: Barnes is the starting center, replacing Adam Spieker in the middle of the offensive line.
Career so far: Barnes was an understudy to Spieker last season after taking a redshirt year in 2006. All told, Barnes saw action in five games and will enter his sophomore season as the starter.
Why he's on the list: For the last 12 years, Missouri has started three players total at center. Barnes takes over as a sophomore, ensuring that for the first time since 1997, the Tigers won't be putting a four-year starter into the center spot. There is perhaps no more important position on the offense outside of quarterback. After battling snapping issues for quite some time, the Tigers got that phase of the game resolved last year. Spieker had blossomed into one of the best centers in America, becoming a third-team all-American and getting a look in the NFL. Barnes doesn't have to be that good right away, but he does have to be good. The Fighting Illini will provide a stiff test right off the bat. Barnes will have to prove he can handle one of the most complex positions on the field right away.
The Rest of the List so Far
10. Kurtis Gregory
9. Jared Perry
8. Ziggy Hood
7. Chase Coffman
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