The 2020 Mizzou football season is a few short months away, so it is time to start taking a look at who the Tigers have on their roster and what to expect from them this year.
In what has been a crazy offseason, Mizzou football has actually fared rather well. Many recruits in the 2021 class have committed to come to Columbia next year, and some recruits joined the 2020 class to bolster this season’s roster.
So over the next couple of weeks, Truman’s Tales will be breaking down each position group on both sides of the ball.
I felt that starting with the running backs would be a good start. The backfield has always been crucial for Mizzou, and their group of backs could be lethal this year.
RB1: Larry Rountree III- 5’10” 210 lbs (Sr.)
In 2019, Rountree totaled 829 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 4.5 yards-per-carry. While it was a down year for him, Rountree is still the same back that run for over 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore.
Rountree has the opportunity to go down as one of the more productive backs in school history with another strong year. He will continue to be Missouri’s go-to back in the ground game. His downhill running style will tire out defenses touch after touch.
RB2: Tyler Badie- 5’9″ 190 lbs (Jr.)
I consider Badie one of Missouri’s secret weapons. He isn’t talked about much, but he is a very special player. Whether it’s in the run or pass game, Badie is deadly when he touches the ball.
Last season, Badie scored eight touchdowns total, five of which came through the air. He averaged 11.1 yards per catch and 4.2 yards per carry. He was among the best in the nation in first down and touchdown rate.
While some fans were worried about rumors of him transferring, Badie plans on returning to the Zou in the fall.
RB3: Dawson Downing- 6’0″ 225 lbs (Sr.)
Downing made a little bit of a name for himself at homecoming last year against Ole Miss. He had six carried for 70 yards and a touchdown that game, including an impressive 54-yard burst through the Rebel defense.
He may not play a huge role for the Tigers, but he is the backup bruiser behind Rountree. He plays a similar style and allows the Tigers to run their in-between-the-tackles plays while Rountree catches his breath. He won’t put up big numbers, but he will do his part to ensure Mizzou’s success.
RB4: Elijah Young- 5’9″ 170 lbs (Fr.)
Now I am in no way saying Young is the worst back in this group. He is very talented, but with how this offseason has been, it’s somewhat challenging to see how a freshman will slot in to a deep backfield.
He provides a role similar to Downing, but as a backup to Badie. A more versatile back that is special with the ball in his hands. Once again, don’t expect huge numbers, but don’t be surprised if you see him on SportsCenter’s top 10.