MU secondary takes a hit with loss of CB Holmes
COLUMBIA, MO. • The first major injury of Missouri’s preseason leaves the Tigers short of a key player in the secondary, probably for the season. Sophomore cornerback Christian Holmes, a contender to start this fall, dislocated his right shoulder in Saturday night’s scrimmage.
Holmes has worked with the first and second unit since the spring as the Tigers look for candidates to replace departed starters Aarion Penton and John Gibson. Sophomore DeMarkus Acy has worked with the first unit, while senior Logan Cheadle will probably secure the other starting job.
Holmes, a 6-1 Atlanta native, appeared in 10 games last year as a true freshman and played mostly on special teams.
“Really unfortunate,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said after Tuesday’s practice on Faurot Field. “Had a lot of ideas and thoughts on what kind of player he was going to be early on for us. ... I know Christian will attack (rehabilitation) and get back as fast as he can. Hate it the way that it happened.”
Odom was unsure if Holmes will miss the entire season.
“Each case can be different,” he said. “We’re going to approach it that we think we’re going to get him back, but we also have to err on the side of (asking) can he get back? Can he get back and be productive? Can he get back and play meaningful snaps?”
“Obviously it’s a huge blow,” secondary coach Ryan Walters said. “I feel really bad for him. He was working really hard this camp, this offseason.”
Other backup cornerbacks who could see an expanded role in Holmes’ absence include junior Finis Stribling IV, redshirt freshman Jerod Alton (Kirkwood) and freshmen Adam Sparks.
“Jerod probably has been as productive, as good as I’ve seen him play since he’s been here,” Odom said. “He understands a bit and has grown up some. Finis had a great camp and carried it into the last couple days. Both of those guys have to help us.”
After practice, Odom revealed the team’s four captains for the season, as voted by their teammates: quarterback Drew Lock, right tackle Paul Adams, defensive end Jordan Harold and linebacker Eric Beisel. Lock and Adams are both juniors. Harold (McCluer North) and Beisel (Rockwood Summit) are both from the St. Louis area.
FRESHMEN IN MIX
Along with Sparks, Odom confirmed that at least three other freshmen will play this season and avoid a redshirt: running back Larry Rountree III, middle linebacker Jamal Brooks and safety Jordan Ulmer. Outside linebackers Joshuah Bledsoe and Aubrey Miller could play, too, he said. Last week, Odom said freshman defensive end Chris Turner is likely to play and possibly Akial Byers at the same position.
Freshman tight end Logan Christopherson has undergone surgery for a high ankle sprain and could miss the season. He was out of his brace Tuesday and going through range of motion exercises with the training staff.
“Had he continued to be healthy he would have helped us in a lot of areas,” Odom said. “He’ll be out for some time.”