April 2, 2008

Tigers excited about young tackle tandem

The Missouri Tigers lost only one starter off the defense that shut down Darren McFadden and Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. Junior Jaron Baston seems set to step in for Lorenzo Williams at nose tackle. But it is the guys behind Baston and Ziggy Hood at tackle who have been turning heads in spring practice.

Redshirt freshmen Dominique Hamilton and Terrell Resonno have risen to second on the depth chart at the two tackle spots after the first scrimmage of the spring. It is a move that surprised some…but not Hamilton or Resonno.

"That's my roommate right there," said Hamilton, a native of El Paso, TX. "We told the two guys in front of us we were going to come take their positions."

That may sound a little brash coming from a kid that has never played a down in college. Leave it to his position coach to keep him grounded.

"Any time we move a guy down, we tell him it's his job to go get his spot back. Whenever we move a guy up, we tell him he has to hold on to that spot now," said defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski. "It would be just as easy for them to move right back down."

Kuligowski said the key is for Resonno and Hamilton both to keep getting better.

"We need them to be ready in case one of the top guys goes down," Kuligowski said. "And they're not there yet."

Perhaps not. But in listening to the some, they might not be far off.

"They've got a lot of potential," said Hood. "They've got size and power. They're just a couple of young bucks in there."

"In this spring football, these are probably the most talented backup guys we have had," Kuligowski said.

High praise indeed. For now, though, the freshman duo seems content to remain somewhat in the shadows.

"I want to stay on the two deep," Hamilton said. "Jaron Baston, he does a good job getting it done."

"I want to be the backup to Ziggy Hood," Resonno said of his goals. "And I want the coaches to be able to trust me to contribute to this team."

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