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Mizzou Depth Chart Observations: True Freshmen Making Impact

Brief observations of Missouri's depth chart going into week 1.
Missouri's football fans painted like tigers.

COLUMBIA , MO - SEPTEMBER 20: Missouri Tigers fans cheer for their team during a game against the Indiana Hoosiers in the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium on September 20, 2014 in Columbia, Missouri. Indiana won 31-27.(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

The official Mizzou depth chart for this week’s game against Southeast Louisiana was released on Monday.

Four true freshmen are included in the depth chart and will likely get playing time in week 1. Evan Boehm is listed as the starting at left guard. Dorial Green-Beckham and Sean Culkin are second and third string respectively at the Y-receiver position. Russell Hansbrough is listed as the third tailback. Having this many freshmen on the week 1 depth chart is interesting because Mizzou redshirted all its players from the Class of 2011 last season.

Left tackle Elvis Fisher returns and starts after missing last season because of an injury. The sixth year senior will provide veteran leadership to a youthful offensive line.

No surprises in the backfield as starting quarterback James Franklin is healthy and will be backed up by redshirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser. Senior tailback Kendial Lawrence gets the nod over sophomore Marcus Murphy. Last season’s star tailback Henry Josey will miss the entire season, according to coach Gary Pinkel.

Marcus Lucas, T.J. Moe, L’Damian Washington and Eric Waters start at receiver. Waters is slotted in the Y-receiver, which was the tight end position last season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Michael Sam and Kony Ealy start at defensive end. Both are expected to have great seasons, along with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. A lot of pressure will be put on the defensive line in the SEC, where the battle in the trenches often determines the outcome of the game.

Middle linebacker Will Ebner was granted another year of eligibility after picking up a season ending injury in the first game last season. Ebner is listed as the starter between Zaviar Gooden and Andrew Wilson.

Cornerback Kip Edwards and free safety Braylon Webb are listed as doubtful with injuries. Randy Ponder is listed as the starter for Edwards, and Matt White takes Webb’s place as starting free safety.

Senior Trey Barrow is the starting punter and in a battle with Andrew Baggett for first choice place kicker. T.J. Moe is listed as starting holder and kick returner. Marcus Murphy is behind Moe for returning kicks and is the starting punt returner. E.J. Gaines, who is starting a cornerback, is behind Murphy for fielding punts.