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December 17, 2013

2013's Top Tigers


Tuesday's Top Tigers makes its return to PowerMizzou.com. A player's ranking one week has no bearing on his placement on the list the next week. Today, we offer up our list for the regular season, plus the SEC title game. These are the eleven Tigers who had, in our estimation, the best season so far:

Tuesday's Top Tigers
1 Michael Sam, DE This was not, for me, a slam dunk. But how can you not go with the guy who made multiple all-American lists, was a finalist for a handful of national awards and led the SEC in sacks and TFLs?10.5 sacks, 9 hurries, 18 TFL
2 E.J. Gaines, CB Gaines had his national coming out party when he held A&M star Mike Evans to four catches and eight yards. People in Columbia knew he was great well before that. The rest of the country finally caught up. 68 tackles, 4 INT, 2 PBU
3 Justin Britt, LT Britt led an offensive line that came into the season as a question mark and developed into one of Missouri's biggest strengths. First-team all-SEC at this position says a load. No stats for OL
4 Henry Josey, TB It would have been a very good season for any player. That Josey did it when many thought he would never play again took it up a few notches. 1,074 yards, 14 total TD, 6.6 ypc
5 Kony Ealy, DE That Sam is No. 1 this list is due in part to the guy on the other side. Ealy had a hell of a season in his own right, one that could propel him to early entry in the NFL Draft. 7.5 sacks, 12.5 TFL, 5 PBU, 14 hurries, 3 FF
6 Evan Boehm, C If Britt was the leader of the line, Boehm was its anchor. Moved to center before spring ball, Boehm had very few problems with the snap and held up nicely in the middle of the line. No stats for OL
7 Markus Golden, DE If not the best DE on the team, Golden was probably the most productive in terms of plays per snap. Despite not being a starter, Golden was 7th on the team and tops among defensive linemen in tackles. 51 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 13 TFL
8 James Franklin, QB Had he been healthy all year, he might lead the list. He might also have been sitting in New York City on Saturday night and Missouri may not have lost a game in the regular season. 2,255 yards, 19 TD, 5 INT passing; 474 yards, 4 TD rushing
9 L'Damian Washington, WR Washington set the tone for this team when he predicted 11 wins. He then went out and backed it up as the top target in a revived passing game through the first two-thirds of the season. 47 rec, 853 yards, 10 TD, 18.1 ypc
10 Dorial Green-Beckham, WR As Washington demanded more and more attention, DGB made opponents pay in the second half of the season. His four touchdown day at Kentucky kicked off a final few weeks that will find him on a lot of pre-season all-American lists next year. 55 rec, 830 yards, 12 TD, 15.1 ypc
11 Maty Mauk, QB Many were considered for the final spot, but this season simply isn't what it was without Mauk's relief efforts. The biggest difference in 2012 and 2013? Missouri's backup quarterback came in and won football games when Franklin went down. 1,039 yards, 10 TD, 2 INT passing; 156 yards, TD rushing

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