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July 14, 2007

25 Tigers to watch: #21 Kurtis Gregory

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The Missouri Tigers open camp on August 4th, which is now just 25 days away. Over the next 25 days, PowerMizzou.com is counting down the 25 players on the roster who will be most influential in determining just how good the Tigers are this season. To be clear, this is not a list of the 25 best players on the roster. It is not a list of the players that will have the biggest seasons or put up the best numbers. In reverse order, we are counting down the 25 players who we think could have the most influence on the outcome of the 12 games on Missouri's 2007 schedule.

21. Kurtis Gregory

The vitals: Kurtis Gregory opens camp as a starter at the right offensive guard spot. Gregory is a sophomore who played a fair amount last season as a redshirt freshman, but is being asked to take on a much larger role.

Career so far: Gregory has been a tackle for his first couple of years at Mizzou and filled in for Joel Clinger on the right side for periods of time last season. He missed spring football recovering from shoulder surgery, but has the potential to be the Tigers' best lineman by the time he is done.

Why he's on the list: Frankly, the top five spots on this list could be occupied by the five starting offensive linemen. You do not have a good team if you do not have a good offensive line. Right guard was probably the weakest spot on the line last season between Monte Wyrick and Mike Cook. That should not be the case this year (and if it is, Mizzou has one heck of an offensive line in the making). Gregory has all the potential in the world, but this is the year he will be pressed into showing it on the field. Sure, there is some depth behind them, but the starting five on the offensive front will go a long, long, long way toward determining whether this offense can fulfill its enormous potential. Potential is all well and good, but Missouri loses two starters off the right side of the offensive line. Can they be as good, or perhaps even better, breaking in two youngsters? It is very possible and Gregory could be the key.

The rest of the list so far:

25. Chase Patton
24. Tommy Saunders
23. Pig Brown
22. Tommy Chavis

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