Trio of senior receivers ready to make up for lost time

White said he takes outsiders' skepticism as motivation.
Senior receiver Jimmie Hunt makes a catch before during their Black & Gold game on Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo.

Bud Sasser doesn’t think it — he knows it.

“I know I can be that guy,” the senior said of being Mizzou’s go-to receiver. “It’s not a ‘thinking’ thing. And really, each one of our receivers feels that way … If you’re on the field, you should always think that that ball is coming to you.”

Sasser will be on the field a lot this season. And the ball will be coming to him a lot more than it did last year.

The same will go for fellow seniors Jimmie Hunt and Darius White who, in their final years at Mizzou, are the Tigers’ top receivers.

A veteran, if still inexperienced, bunch.

“It feels good, man,” White said. “But you still got to have that chip on your shoulder … Practice like you’re No. 2 (on the depth chart) so you can be No. 1.”

Last year, when White was No. 2 on the depth chart, backing up L’Damian Washington at z-receiver, he caught just seven balls. In his whole college career — at Texas and at Mizzou — White has 147 receiving yards and two touchdowns to his name.

Hunt and Sasser saw more playing time than White last season — Sasser was the Tigers’ starting h-receiver — each recording more than 20 receptions and a touchdown.

But in all, the new trio of starters had fewer combined receiving yards than any of Missouri’s starting receivers posted last season. And if Hunt’s day-to-day hamstring injury persists, he’ll likely be replaced by true freshman Lawrence Lee.

So perhaps the skepticism around the seniors is deserved.

Valid or not, White is taking the criticism in stride.

“We just kind of take it all as motivation,” White said. “People say and people think we lost a lot last year. I mean, we did; we had great players. But what they don’t know is we had players that were behind those great players that was coming in and making plays.”

Senior Marcus Murphy, who played at running back and wide receiver during training camp, said the new starters just want the season to get going — to step on the field and get the ball in their hands.

“They want to come out and prove themselves,” Murphy said. “We’ve always been the underdog. We’ve always been overlooked by the other teams in the SEC … When everybody’s not believing in you, or thinking you're not to this certain level, just come out and show everybody we can ball together.”

Sasser, a captain, said he is excited. He’s finally getting a chance to play as an outside receiver and stretch the field, rather than inside, up the middle. He called it "actually the one position I’ve wanted to play.”

“Finally getting that really good chance — you’re that true starter,” Sasser said. “You’ll be getting the bulk of those plays. This is the time to do what you were supposed to do since you’ve been here.”

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