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August 23, 2008
Fall Camp Awards
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Over the last three weeks, PowerMizzou.com has covered every aspect of fall camp in Columbia. Today, we hand out our awards for the best performances over the last 20 days.
Best Offensive Player: This one has to go to Jeremy Maclin. All off-season, Missouri has said he is going to be better. All off-season, people have wondered how that could happen. Well, it did. Maclin is a much better receiver than he was a year ago. And he's still fast. Runner-Up: Derrick Washington
Best Defensive Player: William Moore built on what he did in the second half of last season. He was all over the field nearly every day in camp. Moore makes the other guys on defense with him better players. He is a near lock for all-Big 12 and a strong candidate to be an all-American. Runner-Up: Ziggy Hood
Biggest Offensive Surprise: It has to be the play of Jerrell Jackson. He came out of absolutely nowhere on our radar three weeks ago and has been the most consistent young receiver all month long. He may already be the fourth receiver in Missouri's rotation.
Biggest Defensive Surprise: There really weren't many. Few things that happened on this side of the ball came as a shock. But I'm going with the fact that Andrew Gachkar is even on the field. What Gachkar faced in the off-season blood clot wasn't just season-threatening, it was life-threatening. To be back playing football at top speed already is simply amazing.
Most Improved Offensive Player: I can't sit here and break down the offensive line play from camp. At the same time, Austin Wuebbels didn't even play in the Black and Gold game and he was on very few radars before the start of fall camp. Wuebbels was at least in contention for a starting job and seems to be a good bet to see action as a second-string lineman. Good camp for the redshirt freshman.
Most Improved Defensive Player: I really, really liked what I saw out of Jeff City product Terrell Resonno. Resonno was always big, but it looks as if a year in the strength program has helped him. Coming into camp, I wasn't sure where he would fit in the rotation with Andy Maples and Dominique Hamilton. Even before an injury to Maples, it was clear Resonno was the third tackle behind starters Hood and Jaron Baston.
Blessing in Disguise Award: Chase Coffman didn't want to sit on the sidelines. In his words, "it kind of sucks." But for the Tigers, to have Coffman sidelined for a week with an injury that they knew wasn't serious may actually have been a blessing. In his absence, Mizzou got an extended look at freshmen Andrew Jones and Michael Egnew. They should have liked what they saw. They knew what they had in Coffman, but his absence allowed them to find out more about the youngsters.
Still Waiting Award: Gary Pinkel listed off eight freshmen who were in position to see action this season. But that might not be all. There are three players who seem to still have a chance to work their way into a rotation: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, receiver Wes Kemp and safety Zaviar Gooden. Perhaps none of the three will play, but don't slide the redshirt on too tightly.
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