What Eli Drinkwitz said about the fall camp competitions that will shape Mizzou football

Fall camp is upon the Missouri Tigers. There are 25 practices to figure out the best players MU has on its roster that will start the season opener against South Dakota on Aug. 31.
On Sunday, Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz discussed the impending competitions that will shape MU's starting lineup.
That competition carries through all three phases of the game but will include players competing for backup positions as well as starting spots.
"There's a lot of competition and competitive depth which, to me, translates to finding your role," Drinkwitz said. "How can you help affect us on special teams."
More:Projecting Mizzou football's first offensive depth chart of 2023
When asked about the ensuring competition that Missouri will sort through, Drinkwitz spent more time discussing the offensive side of the ball.
The quarterback competition headlines camp, but Drinkwitz made it clear that most of the team's starting spots on offense are open. Players won't be handed the spots they want.
Specifically, the wide receiver room is a spot that MU will need to sort out mainly because there are so many types of players the Tigers have. Luther Burden will take over the slot position, but the X-receiver and Z-receiver positions have returning players and incoming transfers on top of incoming freshmen.
"The one thing I know about wide receivers is that they want the football," Drinkwitz said Sunday. "All of them want the ball a lot. So you got 10 guys that want the football."
Elsewhere, Drinkwitz mentioned the battles at running back, tight end and offensive line.
On the offensive line, Drinkwitz alluded to one position being solidified which is Javon Foster at left tackle. There's little reason to assume Foster, an All-SEC preseason second-team selection, will concede the blind side.
Aside from Foster, there are a few directions the offensive line could shake out. Specifically from the center to the right side of the line, those positions could shake out differently even with Cam'Ron Johnson transferring in with the idea he'll play center, Marcellus Johnson transferring in as a right tackle and Armand Membou moving to right guard.
Those players might have the first opportunities with the first team, but they could be moved around in favor of other players. Drinkwitz said Cam'Ron Johnson could move to guard, and that last year's starting center Connor Tollison could move away from center, too, if it benefits the team.
Defensively, Drinkwitz focused on the competition on the defensive line. The front four will be different with Darius Robinson moving from defensive tackle to defensive end, while also splitting time between both positions. The coaching staff will need to figure out who goes out with the first team to start camp.
More:Projecting Mizzou football's first defensive depth chart of 2023
Beyond that, most of the defense is assumedly in place. Drinkwitz didn't mention Kris Abrams-Draine and Ennis Rakestraw, although any major competition at cornerback will be backing up Abrams-Draine and Rakestraw.
The STAR safety position, which Martez Manuel held last season, starts with Daylan Carnell but includes Tre'Vez Johnson who played 12 games at Florida last season.
Competitions will officially begin Monday when the team begins practice. The work lies with the coaching staff to figure out starters, but Drinkwitz sees the fun side in the competition aside from the need to find the team's best players.
"We got a lot of different competitions that are fun because it lets you know there's a lot of competitive depth," Drinkwitz said.

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