Missouri returns 18 starters, but of the four who won’t return, none was more costly than Sean Weatherspoon.
Replacing his vocal leadership might be more important than replacing his 111 tackles, an on-field task that might be undertaken by sophomore-to-be Donovan Bonner.
Blaine Gabbert gained plenty of respect by staying on the field through a painful ankle injury last season, and could likely earn one of the captain slots come fall.
But Weatherspoon has been the unquestioned leader of the team for two seasons, and leaves behind a much bigger hole than even the almost 1,800 receiving yards receiver Danario Alexander amassed last season. (By the way, Alexander calls his latest knee injury a “bump in the road.”)
Outside of Gabbert, a group of experienced candidates like running back Derrick Washington, cornerback Carl Gettis or linebacker Andrew Gachkar, all seniors, could step into a leadership role this spring.
Another summer spent locked in the weight room could secure a role as a captain once fall arrives.