Mizzou defensive line has a lot of questions

Stud defensive linemen and Missouri have become virtually synonymous with one another. 

During Gary Pinkel’s tenure in Columbia, he’s routinely churned out defensive line talent to the NFL on nearly an annual basis. This list includes Aldon Smith, Sheldon Richardon, Ziggy Hood, Shane Ray, Kony Ealy, Markus Golden, and Michael Sam, among others. 

In 2015, Pinkel and his staff will have to work their magic considerably. This is due to turmoil surrounding the area of the defense before the year has even started. 

Expected leader and preseason All-America selection Harold Brantley is out for the season after being in a serious car accident. The other expected defensive end Marcus Loud was kicked off the team in the offseason. 

As such, the starting defensive line of Charles Harris, Josh Augusta, Rickey Hatley, and Marcell Frazier have next to no experience. Harris is the only one of the quartet to ever start a collegiate game. 

The second-string group is comprised of primarily freshmen and sophomores. The big wildcard in this equation is true freshman Terry Beckner, Jr. Ranked as one of the top high school players in the country a season ago, he’ll likely be forced into action right away. 

This isn’t an ideal scenario for Pinkel by any stretch. His players will need to get up to speed and produce right away. There likely will be some growing pains early. Pinkel can only hope the nonconference slate will gets his inexperienced bunch ready for the rigors of conference play.