April 7, 2008

Perry making statement this spring

Missouri's receiving corps had more weapons than perhaps any in the country in 2007.

"I just think we had a lot of players, depth wise," Gary Pinkel said. "It was probably as good depth wise, as we've talked about at receiver and tight end, as we'll probably have."

There were a lot of positives about that depth which played a key role in delivering a school record 12 wins to the Tigers last season. But there was a drawback that many might have ignored.

"It's hard to get everyone the football," Chase Daniel admits. "That's what coach C (Dave Christensen) said his hardest job was last year was getting everyone the football."

There were a few examples of that. Will Franklin saw his production drop during his senior season. Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman each sacrificed some individual numbers to form the nation's top tight end tandem. But no Tiger felt the effects of the wealth of riches so much as wideout Jared Perry. As a true freshman, Perry burst on the scene with 37 catches for 429 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown against Kansas. In his sophomore season, the numbers were cut by two-thirds to 13 catches for 170 yards. Perry went from the team's fourth-leading receiver to its seventh.

"It got frustrating in the beginning," Perry said. "It was really my fault. I dropped a couple balls in the beginning and I lost a little confidence."

Headed into the spring, Perry knew the time was now if he was going to reclaim his spot among one of the nation's top passing attacks.

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