Missouri took the suspense out of some spring position battles by releasing a depth chart Tuesday as the first practice commenced at Memorial Stadium.
Last season, Barry Odom waited until the week of the season opener at West Virginia before unveiling a depth chart.
Whether it was strategic, hoping to gain a small edge on the Mountaineers or driven by a first-year coach’s paranoia, Odom has gotten over it.
Obviously, the depth chart is subject to wild changes before the 2017 opener Sept. 2 against Missouri State at Memorial Stadium, but it’s fun fodder for fans for now.
Here’s the complete depth for reference followed by a rundown of the important points:
Sophomore Yasir Durant — a 6-foot-7, 330-pound early enrollee from Arizona Western Community College — made his depth-chart debut as the second-string left tackle behind incumbent starter Tyler Howell.
Senior Alec Abeln is listed as the co-starter with junior Sam Bailey at center, while senior Adam Ploudre is the front-runner at right guard.
Abeln started five games at right guard last season and one at center, while Ploudre started the final six games last season at right guard.
Howell, junior left guard Kevin Pendleton and junior right tackle Paul Adams remain atop the depth chart after starting all 12 games at their respective positions last season.
Freshman early enrollee Pompey Coleman — a 6-foot-5, 270-pound prospect from Indianapolis, who is working his way back from a broken leg suffered last fall — is listed as Adams’ backup.
Ploudre’s backup is listed as sophomore Tre’Vour Simms from East St. Louis.
Junior quarterback Jack Lowary started the spring as junior Drew Lock’s backup ahead of redshirt freshman Micah Wilson.
Lock has started the last 20 games for the Tigers and is the clear front-runner for the job after completing 237 of 434 passes for 3,399 yards with 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season.
The chase for the backup job will be intriguing all the way through fall camp.
There are no surprises on the running back depth chart, which lists sophomore Damarea Crockett and senior Ish Witter as co-starters.
Witter, who revealed Tuesday that he played last season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, will be limited this spring after postseason surgery.
Junior Nate Strong, who Odom announced Tuesday is currently suspended, checks in third on the initial depth chart with Bishop Miege walk-on Dawson Downing listed fourth and freshman early enrollee Isaiah Miller fifth.
Senior J’Mon Moore and sophomore Dimetrios Mason are the starters entering spring football at outside receiver with sophomore Johnathon Johnson atop the depth chart at slot receiver.
Junior Nate Brown is Moore’s backup and junior Emanuel Hall is listed behind Mason and ahead of sophomore Justin Smith.
Junior Ray Wingo and sophomore Richaud Floyd are Johnson’s top two backups.
Senior Jordan Harold is listed twice on the depth chart.
He’s fourth at defensive end behind junior Spencer Williams, junior Nate Howard and senior walk-on Eddie Cruz.
Harold also is listed as injured junior defensive tackle Terry Beckner’s backup with ASA College transfer Rashad Brandon fourth on the depth behind junior Adam Roland.
Part of the impetus is a lack of depth at defensive tackle this spring with Beckner and sophomore Markell Utsey, who is senior A.J. Logan’s backup at the other interior spot, still recovering from knee surgeries completed last fall.
Both Beckner and Utsey tore anterior cruciate ligaments and are limited this spring during the recovery and rehabilitation process.
A team spokesman said Odom wanted Harold listed at both positions because he will split time to help alleviate depth issues inside.
To nobody’s surprise after a strong close to last season, senior Marcell Frazier is the starting defensive end opposite Williams.
Redshirt freshman Tre Williams is Frazier’s backup with sophomore Franklin Agbasimere — a converted linebacker, who played defensive end in high school — listed third.
Senior Eric Beisel and juniors Brandon Lee and Terez Hall start the spring as the starting linebackers.
Sophomore Cale Garrett, a Kearney graduate, is Beisel’s backup for now.
Behind Lee is junior Grant Jones along with junior Tavon Ross, who is making the conversion from safety this spring, and sophomore T.J. Warren, who converted from cornerback last year.
Senior Joey Burkett and junior Roderick Winters are in line behind Hall.
Missouri must replace both starting cornerbacks after the graduation of Aarion Penton and John Gibson.
Sophomores DeMarkus Acy and Christian Holmes begin spring as the starters.
Junior Finis Stribling IV is Acy’s backup along with redshirt freshman Jerod Alton, while senior Lee’s Summit West graduate Logan Cheadle is listed as Holmes’ backup.
Sophomore Ronnell Perkins and junior Cam Hilton, who is limited after postseason shoulder surgery, are listed as the starting safeties.
Senior Anthony Sherrils serves as Perkins’ backup with senior Thomas Wilson expected to soak up the reps with Hilton unable to participate in contract drills.
Senior Anthony Hines has converted to safety and is listed third behind Perkins and Sherrils, while junior Kansas State transfer Kaleb Prewett, a Blue Springs graduate, is third behind Hilton and Wilson.
Punter Corey Fatony, a junior, remains entrenched as the starter and his cult-hero status should only grow in his third season as the Tigers’ starter.
The kicker position, of course, is an entirely different matter.
Mizzou had a multitude of issues in the kicking game last season, struggling to make an extra point with alarming frequency.
Sophomore Tucker McCann, a scholarship player from O’Fallon, Ill., hopes to overcome last season’s yips.
He’s listed first on the depth chart, but senior walk-on Nick Bartolotta, a Kansas transfer, and junior walk-on Andrew Carr are listed as co-starters with McCann.
Sophomore Harley Whitehouse is the heir apparent to Jake Hurrell as the Tigers’ long-snapper.
The spring depth chart does not list return specialists.
Crockett was third on the kickoff-returner depth behind Alex Ross and Greg Taylor, who’ve both departed, at the end of last season.
Johnson is a returning starter at punt returner, but the position’s likely a wide-open competition through the spring at the very least.