Thanks to the dismissal of Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri’s receivers have absorbed the brightest spotlight of the offseason.

The three starters all are seniors: Bud Sasser, Jimmie Hunt and Darius White.

White came to Texas as a five-star prospect. He’s had to answer questions about failing to meet expectations for his entire college career. Sasser and Hunt, solid three-star recruits out of high school, have spent their Missouri careers as pawns, soldiering mostly in the background.

Combined with a lackluster fall camp for Missouri’s passing game, it’s possible that one or all of them feels more pressure to perform than what is ideal.

Receivers coach Pat Washington is aware of that, and has done his best to shelter the psyche of his players.

“Honestly, we don’t talk about it in our meeting room, so if the chip’s on their shoulder, it’s outside of this building,” Washington told the Kansas City Star. “Inside of this building, it’s just work as usual. We understand the things we’ve got to do to be a championship football team. Not one time, not once, have we discussed anything about the people we’ve lost or what people think about us as a group.”

The best pressure diffuser, of course, is to make plays and win games. Missouri will attempt to do just that. But beyond results on the field, a player wearing a certain No. 7 jersey is a great asset to the receivers in terms of confidence.

Maty Mauk compared himself to Johnny Manziel this summer. Off the mark in the final two scrimmages, Mauk shrugged, unconcerned. Mauk carries a confidence that borders on cockiness, perhaps constructed as a record-breaking high school quarterback, but likely even earlier.

He’s not Peyton Manning, hammering his receivers for every quarter-step off track on routes and every split-second hesitation in meeting rooms. Instead Mauk is part cheerleader, part “why the heck do our receivers need cheerleading?”

“I love them,” Mauk told the Star. “There’s nobody I’d trade them for. I know Darius, Jimmie, Bud — we put in a lot of extra time during this year getting things down, and I know they’re going to be ready to go. … We have guys that can play football.”

It helps that Mauk has such a good rapport with his offensive line and that he played well in four starts last season.

He sounds almost like a football version of Steve Prefontaine. His confidence obviously is transparent and genuine rather than concocted, because it’s so matter-of-fact.

“If it’s there, I’m going to take it,” Mauk said about potentially connecting on a long pass to start Saturday’s game, according to “There’s a lot of messages that have to be sent, or whatever, but I know where my guys are going to be. I’m going to get them the ball and we’re going to score. We’re going to come into this game like it’s anybody else. We’re not taking them lightly and we’re gonna be ready to go.”

If the receivers start to second-guess themselves, or start pressing, Mauk is a large enough presence to reset their mentality.

Mauk may be the sophomore, but the three senior receivers look to him to set a tone.

“It won’t matter who we’re playing,” Sasser said. “It won’t matter who we’re playing. He’s gonna get out there and he’s ready to take off. He wants to score. If we can score 100 points, he’s going to want to score 100 points.”