Big, physical lineman who is at home in the trenches leading the way for Mizzou's offense ... Will be in his second year as a starter, after making 12 starts at left guard a year ago ... Enters fall camp atop the depth at that position ... Has played in 35 games during his career at Mizzou ... Is on pace to earn his undergraduate degree in May of 2012.
Made his first career start in the season opener against Illinois and was in the starting lineup for all 12 games during the regular season ... Part of an offensive line that gave up only 22 sacks all season.
Became a mainstay on the offensive line, as he logged significant minutes all season long, playing in all 13 games on the year, primarily at left guard, where he shared snaps with Austin Wuebbels ... Also played a key role on special teams, as part of the very successful point after and field goal protection units ... Helped the Tiger offense to an outstanding season, as it averaged nearly 30 points per game and over 400 yards of offense per outing, despite featuring a first-year starting quarterback.
Continued to develop nicely as part of a talented group of young linemen coming up in the program, and saw action in 10 games on the season as a redshirt freshman ... Had a strong spring camp and spent most of the season second on the depth chart at the left guard spot, behind returning starter Ryan Madison.
Redshirted in his first year in the Tiger program, working mostly at left guard on the practice squad.
Helped pave the way for explosive offenses at North Kansas City High School ... Rated by Rivals as the No. 8 overall prospect (any position) in the state of Missouri, and also as the nation's No. 21 offensive guard prospect ... Also ranked by Super Prep as the state's No. 8 overall prospect, and as the nation's No. 66 offensive guard recruit ... North Kansas City amassed over 4,100 yards of total offense in 2006, and prior to that had 3,785 and 3,864 in 2005 and 2004, respectively ... Was an All-State selection in each of his final two seasons, and also claimed First-Team All-Conference and All-District honors in his sophomore, junior and senior campaigns ... High school coach - Chad Valadez.
Parents - Mark Whitaker & Jeanne Smith ... Majoring in agriculture ... Chose Mizzou over Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas State and Kansas, among others.