Missouri’s offensive line will feature a new pair of starters next season. That’s certainly a different scenario than the 2018 season, when the line returned all five starters.
But MU lost longtime starters Paul Adams and Kevin Pendleton to graduation, opening up spots at left tackle and right guard, respectively.
“We lost two very, very experienced guys,” said Trystan Colon-Castillo, MU’s center. “Those two shoes are going to be really hard to fill.”
Barry Odom’s first depth chart of the spring had sophomores Hyrin White stepping in at right tackle and Larry Borum at left guard, with senior Yasir Durant replacing Adams at left tackle.
The early reviews have been positive.
White showed signs of being a standout lineman last season after filling in for Durant in MU’s win at Purdue. White was one of MU’s highest graded players for the game by ProFootball Focus and has a 6-foot-6, 305-pound frame that could one day translate to the NFL. Senior Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms, an all-Southeastern Conference selection last season, said White has the most natural ability on the team for his position.
Borum is even bigger than White, standing at 6-foot-6, but weighing 340 pounds. Despite carrying that much weight, the Michigan native is one of the most athletic players on the offensive line, according to his peers.
“That man has the most nimble feet,” Colon-Castillo said. “He can jump, I’ve seen that man do a 360 (degree) drop-back dunk.
“Larry can be as good as he wants to be,” Durant added. “He can take it as far as he wants to take it. He has tools like that that come with a great player.”
Bobby Lawrence, a St. Joseph native, and Case Cook are two other players that could crack the rotation and junior-college transfer Angel Matute, who got on campus early in the semester, could be fully adjusted by the time fall camp starts in August.
Lawrence is one of the biggest players on the team at 6-8 and added a lot of muscle to his frame during his redshirt season.
Colon-Castillo joked that with MU’s size, he likes his chances in a street fight with some of his lineman, but would struggle to take Lawrence over Borum, if he had to chose.
“I’m going to take Larry,” he said. “He’s from Detroit. Bobby’s from St. Joe. I don’t know how much fighting Bobby is doing in St. Joe.”
In addition to adjusting to two new starters, the line has also had to adjust to the addition of Kelly Bryant. Bryant is the program’s first true dual-threat quarterback since Brad Smith, whose last season at MU was 2005.
Drew Lock extended plays with his legs more in 2018 than in his previous three seasons, but Bryant is a different situation.
“First week was a little different with Kelly,” Colon-Castillo said. “We’ve been making some plays to give Kelly some open space so he can run. (Bryant) came in and took over. (He’s) making everyone work way harder than what we have before.”