Back Drew Lock is Ready to Roll

Back To SEC

Drew Lock is Ready to Roll

By Matt Osborne
SouthernPigskin.com
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin.  Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page

It has yet to be proven against an opposing SEC defense, but it appears that we should expect to see a much different version of Drew Lock than we saw in 2015.

Few things in all of college football can be considered more difficult than attempting to play quarterback in the Southeastern Conference.

When attempting to line up under center in the nation’s toughest conference as a true freshman, however, the task becomes almost downright impossible.

But such was the position in which Missouri’s Drew Lock found himself in 2015.

Not even having enrolled early coming out of Lee’s Summit in Missouri, Lock was quickly thrust into the inferno of SEC football after Maty Mauk was suspended from the program after the fourth game of the regular season. And though ranked as a four-star prospect coming out of high school, Lock’s inexperience showed tremendously when lining up across some of the most talented defenses that college football had to offer.

Lock finished his freshman campaign completing less than 50 percent of his passing attempts for 1,332 yards, four touchdowns and eight interceptions.

His first start was a dazzling display, as he completed 21-of-28 passes for a pair of scores in a two-touchdown victory over South Carolina.

Over his final seven starts, however, Lock would complete more than half of his passing attempts in only contest (BYU). In became apparent when watching him play that he was having difficulty, as almost every true freshman would, adjusting to the speed of the SEC game.

But as we now approach the start of Lock’s second collegiate season, there is reason to optimistic that we will see significant improvement in his performances this fall.

For starters, Lock has made it a priority to add muscle to his frame during the offseason. Having not been noted as a dual-threat quarterback in the first place, Locks slender frame took a pounding from opposing defenses in 2015. He has added a substantial amount of weight over the past few months, though, which should allow him to better withstand the physical toll of a grueling campaign.

Showing up to Missouri’s spring game looking more like a college-ready quarterback than he did as a true freshman, Lock showed that his offseason improvements weren’t just limited to his physical developments.

Displaying a confident demeanor and an improved understanding of the playbook, Lock finished the spring game completing 9-of-13 passing attempts for 134 yards and two touchdowns, including an impressive 64-yard scoring strike to J’Mon Moore.

When asked what led to the apparent difference in his play during the spring, Lock responded, “Reps on reps on reps. It's crazy what it'll do for you. Practice makes perfect and I think we're feeling that today.”

Having a confident quarterback will be critical for a Missouri offense which is set to return just five starters from a year ago. The team will still be relatively inexperienced on the offensive side of the football, but a major step forward from its sophomore quarterback would undoubtedly go a long way in getting the Tigers back to a bowl game in 2016.

It has yet to be proven against an opposing SEC defense, but it appears that we should expect to see a much different version of Drew Lock than we saw in 2015.

And given the offensive situations of the Tigers’ peers in the SEC East, marked offensive improvement from Missouri should be enough to crossover to significant improvement in the win column as well.

Matt Osborne - Matt Osborne currently serves as the director of recruiting and lead editor for Southern Pigskin. His work has been published in a number of national publications, including USA Today. Although he loves all levels of football, Matt's number one joy in his life is his relationship with Jesus Christ. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborne200. For media requests, please email Matt at matt@southernpigskin.com.