COLUMBIA — At 6 feet 5 inches and 305 pounds, right tackle Dain Wise is about the same size as all the other starting lineman on the Missouri football team. With the exception of 6-foot-7 left tackle Tyler Luellen, the starting offensive line has two players at 6-5 and one at 6-3.
Wise isn’t a starter yet, however. Maybe that’s because the man Wise is competing against for the starting job makes Wise, and the other lineman, look downright small.
Colin Brown is 6 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 325 pounds, 15 pounds heavier than Luellen, which makes Brown both the tallest and heaviest player on Missouri’s roster. His size, and a large tattoo that encompasses the majority of his right shoulder and upper arm, also makes him the most imposing player, according to redshirt freshman center Tim Barnes.
“He’s got a lot of body mass,” Barnes, a good friend of Brown, said while laughing. “But he wasn’t always that big.”
Brown was a star basketball player at Braymer High School in northwest Missouri and was nominated for the McDonald’s All-American team after his senior season in 2004. Brown said he only weighed 235 pounds.
“I was up to 310 or 315 by the time I got to Mizzou, though,” Brown said, citing increased weight lifting and a diet change as reasons.
Brown went largely unrecruited in football out of high school, except for a few late offers from NAIA schools.
“Everything I wanted to do just disappeared,” Brown said. “So I decided to walk-on at Mizzou.”
Three days into his first week on the football team in August 2004, Brown was offered a scholarship.
“The coaches said I played really well,” Brown said, trying to recall that week. “They thought I deserved a scholarship.”
While Brown hasn’t seen much playing time in his three years on the roster, he now finds himself vying with Wise for the starting right tackle position. The right tackle position is the only position still in question, which is a testament to the skills of both Brown and Wise. Even though the starter hasn’t been named, the prospects of having a tandem of tackles over 6-feet-7 tall have left Chase Daniel excited about his protection in the pocket.
“They’re both great athletes,” Daniel said after practice on Sunday about Brown and the starting left tackle, senior Tyler Luellen. “With their size, I completely trust both of them.”
Brown gave Daniel reason to trust him even more on Sunday. In pass rushing drills, Brown consistently held off starting defensive end Tommy Chavis. One time, Brown only used his right hand to push Chavis to the ground as Chavis tried to collapse the pocket.
“His footwork is a big thing,” Daniel said about Brown’s strengths. “As a lineman, you’ve got to be able to move.”
Missouri’s offense requires it’s lineman to be agile. Most of the time, the linemen are required to block an area, instead of a single player. Linemen in zone-blocking schemes must be prepared to get up field or from sideline to sideline quickly. Missouri linemen must move even quicker because of the speed that every Missouri skill-position player possesses.
“He puts himself in really good position,” Barnes said about Brown. “But, it’s going to be harder for someone to get around a guy like that. I mean, he’s huge.”
Daniel expanded on Barnes’s statement.
“He’s definitely more of a power lineman,” Daniel said. “He’s improved the mental side of his game and his footwork, but he still bases himself off of his power.”
Both Wise and Brown are unsure of when the starting tackle will be named. Luckily for them, the competition isn’t as intense as it could be.
“We’re good friends, we get along really well,” Brown said. “We talk a lot about what we see, we really help each other out.”