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August 2, 2008

Top Ten Tigers: D-Wash takes over

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Fall camp is now just two days away. Over the weekend, leading up to the day of the first practice, 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.

2. Derrick Washington

The quick take: Washington steps in for Tony Temple as the starting tailback in his sophomore season. He played in a backup role as a true freshman.

Career so far: Washington skipped the redshirt season and played sparingly as a true freshman, perhaps in preparation for being the go to guy out of the backfield in 2008. He carried 36 times for 184 yards and a touchdown and caught ten passes (most of the running backs) for 70 yards and a score.

Why he's on the list: Because the defense brings back a ton of experience and most feel they know what to expect on that side of the ball. The passing game is led by two (three) all-Americans and most know what to expect in that phase. But Washington has never started a game. His performance as a first-year starter could have more to do with how the Tigers fare than any other player on the roster. If he's as good as hoped, Missouri is lethal on offense. If he struggles to replace Temple's 2,000-plus yards from the last two seasons, opposing defenses will load up on the passing game and force Missouri to once again prove it can run the football. Washington should bring more in the passing game than past Missouri backs, but he's going to have to prove he's as good taking a handoff.

The Rest of the List so Far

10. Kurtis Gregory

9. Jared Perry

8. Ziggy Hood

7. Chase Coffman

6. Tim Barnes

5. William Moore

4. Stryker Sulak

3. Jeremy Maclin

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