The top 10 players returning to the Missouri Tigers for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Nick Bolton, LB
2. Kobie Whiteside, DI
3. Larry Rountree III, RB
4. Tyree Gillespie, S
5. Damon Hazelton, WR*
6. Larry Borom, T
7. Case Cook, G
8. Joshuah Bledsoe, S
9. Chris Turner, DE
10. Daniel Parker, TE
Honorable Mention: Tyler Badie, RB
Bolton was one of the best linebackers in the entire country a season ago, and had a claim to be included in the Bednarik Award as well as the Butkus Award final lists. He does just about everything at elite levels including rush the passer very well, stuff the run and excel in coverage, the latter being his strongest suit. He had multiple pick-sixes a season ago and was a yard away from adding even another. In total, he had two picks and eight pass breakups despite seeing just 29 targeted passes as the primary coverage defender, according to Sports Info Solutions.
Elsewhere on defense, we saw the breakout year from Jordan Elliott last year and there is no doubt that Whiteside can have the same kind of success this year as well. He recorded seven sacks a year ago as well as a bevy of other pressures, and those should go up with more snaps available.
Gillespie and Bledsoe are a talented safety duo as Gillespie had five PBUs and Bledsoe had six. They limit big plays in coverage very well and with some consistency, could very well make names for themselves this fall.
On offense, Rountree returns as a dynamic player with the ball in his hands, no matter how he gets it. He had 91 yards after the catch on 13 catches last year and recorded well over 60% of his yards after contact on the ground. He'll break tackles with ease and utilize great vision and burst to get through even the smallest of gaps in the offensive line.
Hazelton, the Virginia Tech transfer, should have an immediate impact after he hauled in 31 catches for 527 yards and eight scores a year ago. He's moved on from Ball State to Virginia Tech and now to Missouri as his last-ditch effort in college before he ultimately heads to the NFL. He's a big man with great hands, and they should be utilized with the Tigers.