Manning, a receiver for Mizzou, shines in the Black & Gold Spring Game.

Mizzou’s wide receiver group continues to grow in talent, with the addition of Joshua Manning being a recent highlight. Manning, a sophomore, appeared in 12 games during the 2023 season, mainly contributing on special teams. In the recent Black & Gold Spring Game, quarterback Brady Cook connected with Manning for the only touchdown for the Black Team just before halftime, resulting in a 10-9 victory for the Black Team.

Following his recognition as the offensive MVP of the scrimmage, Manning expressed his focus during spring practices on improving his skills in jump ball situations and contested catches, viewing his performance as a starting point for further progress.

Curtis Luper, coach for the Black Team and running backs, praised Manning for his consistent and reliable playstyle, emphasizing his importance in providing depth to the team and projecting a promising future for him as a football player.

Luper also noted that this season’s wide receiver unit is exceptionally deep and characterized by a selfless attitude among players, fostering a supportive environment where teammates motivate each other.

Despite Manning’s standout performance, other wide receivers also showcased their abilities during the scrimmage. Notably, Theo Wease Jr. threw an 82-yard touchdown pass to Mookie Cooper for the Gold Team.

Unfortunately, Luther Burden III was sidelined due to an ankle injury, causing him to miss several spring practices, according to Luper.

Various quarterbacks, including Brett Brown, Tommy Lock, Harold Blood Jr., and Aidan Glover, received playing time during the scrimmage. Glover’s first pass was intercepted by Caleb Flagg, who earned the defensive MVP award.

Flagg commended Mizzou’s wide receivers as some of the best in the nation, highlighting the competitive environment that helps players sharpen their skills.

In terms of the running back position, Luper mentioned that the competition is ongoing, with Marcus Carroll and Nate Noel expected to feature prominently early in the season, though no definitive starters have been named yet.

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