football Edit

Spring football preview: TE

Over the next week, PowerMizzou.com will take a look at the key story lines and players at each position group, ahead of the start of spring football. Today, we continue at tight end.

PREVIOUSLY: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver

Spring 2016 projected depth chart
Name HT/WT Year Stats/notes

Sean Culkin

6-5/245

RS Sr.

16 catches, 139 yards, 1 TD in 2015

Jason Reese

6-5/250

RS Jr

15 catches, 126 yards in 2015

Kendall Blanton

6-6/250

RS So.

No stats accumulated in 2015.

How will the tight ends be used?

After hearing for a few years that the tight ends would be used more in the offense under Josh Henson, but that didn't happen. Since 2013, the most receiving yards by Missouri's tight ends came last year, when Culkin and Reese combined for 265 yards.

Enter Josh Heupel. In his time at Oklahoma, tight ends were not a focal point of the offense, with the most receiving yards coming from James Hanna in 2011 (381). But that doesn't mean the tight end position isn't important for Heupel and new tight end coach Joe Jon Finley, as they've talked about the importance of having versatile tight ends.

Who will fit that bill among this group? Culkin and Reese have been on the field at the same time, and bring slightly different skill sets. Reese has played H-back before, a position that Heupel has used. Will Reese be able to fill that role? Will it even be a focus on the offense?

Entering this spring season, the biggest (and perhaps only) story line is how the tight end position will evolve with Heupel at the helm.