There’s been plenty of talk about former 5-star recruit Luther Burden and his versatility as being one of Missouri’s most important offensive weapons. But there’s no question that Dominic Lovett is leading the room substantially despite not receiving the same level of attention.

Lovett led the team in receiving by a long shot last Saturday against Auburn with 5 catches for 102 yards, averaging 20.4 yards per reception. That’s the 2nd time in 2 weeks that Lovett has surpassed 100 yards with less than 10 catches.

For the season, Lovett has piled up 21 catches for 376 yards and 2 touchdowns.

He’s been key when it comes to chunk plays and quarterback Brady Cook’s deep ball, with one of his biggest plays of the season coming on a 79-yard touchdown reception against Abilene Christian. Lovett finished the Week 3 game with 7 catches for 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

This appears to be just the start of a huge rise for Lovett after he showed some inconsistencies during his freshman year, finishing the 2021 season with only 26 catches for 173 yards and without a score to his name. And the fact that he was able to double down on his success in 2 weeks as the team opened SEC play should say a lot about how involved and productive he is going to be as the competition ramps up with a tough schedule ahead that continues with top-ranked Georgia next up on Saturday night.

Lovett started 6 games last season, but the role he played and his contribution were anything but steady. He saw action on 278 total snaps, which ranked 4th among the team’s receivers, and he was targeted 36 times, making the catch on all but 10 of those passes.

Quarterbacks last season rarely threw the ball to him deep down the field — something that has obviously changed as Lovett has continued to come into his own — though he had just 1 dropped pass in his first season of college football. The average depth per target was 6 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, with 13 of those coming behind the line itself.

But with improvement comes more opportunity, which has absolutely been the case for Lovett. Head coach Eli Drinkwitz has praised Lovett for the progression he’s shown and the way he has put it all together on the football field early in 2022.

“I think we’ve always had a lot of confidence in Dominic Lovett,” Drinkwitz said earlier this month. “It was good to see him and Brady (Cook) connect on that deep ball because we had seen it a bunch in practice, but we hadn’t been able to put that on the tape.”

Outside of the obvious football aspects Lovett brings to the table — which is obviously garnering attention, as it should — the way Lovett operates looking at the intangibles has rubbed off on the team in a positive way.

“To see that continue to grow, obviously in the key third down, he made a very tough catch that falls on the back hip, which is a really difficult catch on a slant route, so I think it just creates confidence that there’s players on the field that we can find,” Drinkwitz said. “It just creates confidence. When you make plays and you win, you create confidence.”

Lovett is currently the 21st-ranked wide receiver in the nation, according to, and also leads the SEC in receiving yards through the first 4 games. How well he maintains that status, especially in the coming weeks, will be something to keep an eye on.

It’s going to be interesting to watch just how much Missouri’s passing game can accomplish and what level of production Lovett can reach going up against one of the nation’s most fearsome defenses this week. Mizzou and Georgia are set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. Central time on Saturday at Faurot Field.

While it’s going to be difficult to get long-yardage plays through the air against the nation’s No. 11 overall defense, which is the No. 2 defense in the SEC, especially with Cook still having plenty of room for development, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Missouri take a handful of deep shots. The Tigers might have learned their lesson about playing conservative football last Saturday against Auburn.