football Edit

Camp Preview: DT

On Aug. 6, Missouri opens its preseason camp for 2015. Prior to that Thursday, is taking a look at every position group to see what Missouri has returning and the outlook as the Tigers attempt to make it three SEC East titles in a row.
Today, we continue with the defensive tackles.
Returning stats: 16.7% of tackles, 12.7% of TFL, 8% of sacks -- 22 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack
The Starters: Like our defensive end preview, the stats are a little misleading. The statline above is just Josh Augusta, who is a projected starter at defensive tackle. Augusta backed-up Rickey Hatley to end the spring, but the injuries to Harold Brantley moved Augusta back to a starting role entering August. A year ago, Hatley played exclusively as a defensive end, so his stats at that position are not considered here. Hatley had a stand-out spring at defensive tackle and was one of the best players on the entire team, so his inclusion as a starter prior to camp has nothing to do with attrition -- he'd be in the same spot even if Brantley were healthy.
(Brantley is still listed as a starter, but August camp should begin with Augusta and Hatley atop the two-deep at defensive tackle and nose guard, respectively.)
The Backups: At this point, the top two back-ups are redshirt sophomore A.J. Logan and incoming freshman Terry Beckner Jr. All eyes will be on Beckner this August, as he is the only true freshman to make the preseason depth chart before camp begins. If he stays healthy, it's all but guaranteed that he'll play.
Camp Outlook: It seems weird to say it, but Hatley may be the closest to a sure-thing at the position. He really improved his stock in the spring, and athletically, he could be a similar kind of player as Brantley, though probably not on the same level talent-wise. The big question with Augusta is conditioning. Missouri absolutely needs him to stay on the field more often than he has his first two years on campus, as it will likely be a main rotation of just three players on the interior this fall. Beckner is the biggest wild card. He'll play, surely, but he has the talent to come in and be much more productive than regular freshmen tend to be. How quickly will he adapt to the speed of the game?
The other incoming freshmen interior linemen, Josh Moore and Tyrell Jacobs, will likely have to put on weight before they're counted on for meaningful snaps at defensive tackle.
Projected Depth Chart: DT: Hatley, Logan NG: Augusta, Beckner