August 1, 2006

Five battles waged in fall camp

The Missouri Tigers bring back 17 starters from last season. There don't seem to be a whole lot of questions as far as who plays where. But there will be a few position battles worth watching. We highlight the five that should draw the most attention.

Starting Running Back

Actually, this will be worth watching for the top two spots. It seems likely that the top two will come from the group of Marcus Woods, Tony Temple and Jimmy Jackson. Temple and Woods enter fall camp as the co-starters with Jackson having ground to make up.

Also in the mix are Earl Goldsmith and Connell Davis but both would really have to break out to catch one of the top three.

Starting Defensive End

This should be the most entertaining battle to watch, although the end result won't much matter. Both Xzavie Jackson and Stryker Sulak are going to get plenty of playing time this fall. The matter of who starts is for little more than pride.

Jackson has been at least a part-time starter for each of the last three years and he has the inside track on the starting job to open camp. Sulak was an under the radar recruit out of Rockdale, Texas, when he came in. But he quickly made waves with his practice play during a redshirt season and did start a handful of games over Jackson last season.

This is a battle that will not be decided until well after practice is closed a week before the first game.

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