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February 23, 2010

Spring position preview: Special teams

Missouri will open spring football in less than a month. Between now and then, PowerMizzou.com will take a look at every position on the roster headed into spring drills. We wrap up our previews with the Tiger kickers:

The Starters: Grant Ressel should be the most secure starter on the roster after his first season. Matt Grabner looks to replace Jake Harry, who had a great senior season punting.

The Backup Competition: There isn't one at kicker. Barring an injury, there's not much suspense there. At punter, the Tigers will bring in some walk-ons and word is Trey Barrow may move to punter since Ressel has a hold on the kicking duties.

The Major Storyline: With the kickers set, the major intrigue on special teams will be at the return spots. Carl Gettis returned punts last year and Missouri used a lot of players on kickoff returns. At this point, those jobs are probably to open to bother speculating. They may remain that way well into fall camp.

What Will Happen: Ressel and Grabner will win the kicking jobs. As returners, plenty of players will get a chance. Another place to watch is the kickoff coverage team. Missouri was woeful at times last year and this may be the best way on to the field for a number of younger players.

PowerMizzou.com will continue to analyze the questions facing the Tigers leading up to spring football.

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