Head coach Gary Pinkel has undoubtedly changed the culture surrounding the Mizzou football program since his arrival in 2001. There have been countless players which have contributed to the decade-plus long turnaround and today I am highlighting the top-10 offensive players of the Gary Pinkel era:
2. Jeremy Maclin WR (2006-2008). One of the most explosive and dynamic all-purpose players in Missouri football history, Jeremy Maclin set the college football ablaze during his two seasons as a wide receiver and kick returner for Mizzou. His school record 5,609 career all-purpose yards are bind boggling considering the fact that he was only on the field for two seasons in Columbia.
3. Brad Smith QB (2001-2005). One of the greatest duel-threat quarterbacks in college football history, Smith helped rejuvenate the fledgling Mizzou program in the early 2000’s. Smith was the first player in college football history to throw for at least 8,000 yards and rush for at least 4,000 and he is still the all-time leading rusher at Mizzou.
4. Danario Alexander WR (2006-2009). After overcoming various injuries throughout his career, Alexander finally got his chance to shine in the Mizzou offense in 2009 and wound up turning in the most dominant year in school history at the receiver position. His 113 receptions that season and NCAA best 1,781 yards helped him earn All-American status and cemented his status among Missouri’s all-time greats.
5. Chase Coffman TE (2005-2008). Coffman routinely dazzled fans with outstanding catches and breathtaking hurdles during his career at Mizzou. He has the school record for receptions (247) and was a consensus All-American in 2008. Coffman managed to stand out in Missouri’s spread attack despite playing in a video-game offense which featured several tremendous play-makers.
6. Martin Rucker TE (2004-2007). A consensus All-American in 2007, Rucker was part of a devastating tight-end duo with teammate Chase Coffman and ranks second behind Coffman in career receptions at Mizzou with 203. His first collegiate reception was a touchdown against Arkansas State which signaled a prodigious career to come. Rucker was a perennial fan favorite, and was absolutely impossible to bring down with one defender.
7. Henry Josey RB (2010-2013). One of the most inspirational players in Mizzou history, Josey made a huge impact as a sophomore, rushing for 1,168 yards and averaging an eye-popping 8 yards a carry. He was able to overcome a horrific knee injury to help lead the Tigers to an SEC East Division Title in 2013 as he was somehow able to return to pre-injury form rushing for 1,166 yards and 16 touchdowns. His persistence and refusal to quit places him very high on the list of most beloved football players in school history and his contributions will not soon be forgotten by Mizzou faithful.
8. Zack Abron RB (2000-2003). The proverbial thunder to Brad Smith’s lightning, Abron quietly left Mizzou in 2003 as the school’s all-time leading rusher in yards and touchdowns (records eventually broken by Smith himself). Abron was once described as a “bowling ball of butcher knives” and his running style was as effective as it was devastating.
9. Michael Egnew TE (2008-2011). Perhaps a bit unheralded by Mizzou fans considering the tight ends that he followed, but Michael Egnew turned in a terrific career at Missouri and became quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s number one target after Danario Alexander graduated in 2009. Egnew was an All-Big 12 selection in 2010 and 2011 and was a consensus first-team All-American as a junior.
10. Adam Spieker C (2004-2007). Spieker started every game of his college career for four straight seasons (50 games) which makes him Mizzou’s iron man. He anchored an offensive line that was a huge part of Missouri’s record-breaking 2007 offense and was one of the leaders that helped re-shape Missouri football.
RB- Tony Temple
WR – T.J. Moe
WR- Tommy Saunders
WR- Will Franklin
WR- Justin Gage
OL- Colin Brown
OL- Tyler Luellen
OL- Tim Barnes
OL- Justin Britt