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July 31, 2011

Five under fire



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 need a big fall camp to avoid getting lost in the shuffle:

Ashton Glaser: The transfer of Tyler Gabbert seemingly opened things up for Glaser to be the No. 2 quarterback. But the return of Jimmy Costello could put a speed bump in his way. Missouri has Corbin Berkstresser coming this year and Maty Mauk next year. The simple fact is this: If Glaser doesn't win the No. 2 job out of camp this year, it's tough to see it happening down the line.

Rolandis Woodland: The tools are there. At times, fans have seen flashes in games. But Woodland has struggled with the drops over the last couple of seasons. With young receivers like Marcus Lucas, Jimmie Hunt and Bud Sasser entering the fray, plus a big spring from Gahn McGaffie and the return of all three starters from a year ago plus L'Damian Washington and Brandon Gerau, Woodland simply must produce this fall.

Donovan Bonner: It is perhaps unfair to put Bonner here. His biggest challenge isn't his play, but his health. He has battled injury throughout his time at Missouri. The Tigers return four of their top five linebackers from last season and add three freshmen to the mix, plus Darvin Ruise and Jared Parham. If Bonner can stay healthy, he has a chance to be a beast. If not, he's in danger of being passed by.

Kenronte Walker: Walker redshirted last season at his request, in order to have a better shot at a starting job this year. He enters camp in a three-way battle with Tavon Bolden and Matt White at safety. Throw Braylon Webb in the mix and the competition is stiff. Being a junior college player, Walker's time on campus is limited. If he were a redshirt freshman, there is no way he'd be on this list. As a redshirt junior, though, the time is now.

Kendial Lawrence: Again, maybe it's unfair to put Lawrence on this list, but with so much experience coming back, the options are limited. The junior enters fall camp No. 1 on the depth chart, but De'Vion Moore will fight to regain the spot and Marcus Murphy and Henry Josey loom in year two. Lawrence will play, of that there is no doubt, but if he has designs on being the feature back for his final two seasons, he must carry a stellar spring performance into the month of August.

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.


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