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July 13, 2008PowerMizzou.com will preview fall camp extensively over the next four weeks, including previews at every position and individual looks at players who must step up to make 2008 a success. If you are not yet a premium subscriber, click here to start your free seven-day trial today!.
Fall camp opens up in 22 days. Over the next couple of weeks, PowerMizzou.com will continue to get Tiger fans completely prepped for the biggest season in school history. Today, we continue our in-depth breakdowns of the fall situation at every position on the field. We move on to tight end today.
The Starter: For the first time in his decorated career, Chase Coffman comes into camp as Missouri's unquestioned starter. That has nothing to do with Coffman's production, but rather the presence of all-American Martin Rucker on campus the last three seasons. This year, Coffman takes over as the sole star and should threaten, if not shatter, Rucker's single-season record of 84 receptions.
Projected Backup: Going into camp, it is Jon Gissinger. Gissinger does not have the build and athleticism that Coffman and Rucker have brought to the position, but he had a strong spring and showed off good hands. He will have to hold off a charge from true freshman Andrew Jones if he is going to keep his spot.
Major Camp Storyline: This is similar to quarterback. You know what you have with your starter. It won't happen, and he wouldn't want it to happen, but I'd seriously consider putting Coffman in a green jersey like the quarterbacks wear. He is one of those guys that just has to be healthy. His reps will likely be limited the first two to three weeks while the Tigers try to figure out if Gissinger or Jones is the backup.
By the Numbers: 136, 1,365 and 15. Those were the combined receptions, yards and touchdowns from Rucker and Coffman in 2007. The Tigers had more catches and touchdowns from their top two tight ends than their top two receivers.
Position Rating: 9. Missouri has the best starter in the country. What keeps this from being a ten is that they don't have a second guy who is on the same level for the first time in three seasons. It is tough to see Gissinger or Jones putting up the numbers that Coffman did in his true freshman season (47 catches, 503 yards, 4 TD).
PowerMizzou.com will continue our position previews with a look at the offensive line on Monday.
PowerMizzou.com will preview fall camp extensively over the next four weeks, including previews at every position and individual looks at players who must step up to make 2008 a success. If you are not yet a premium subscriber, click here to start your free seven-day trial today!.