Gatti Looks To Earn Playing Time in 2011

Red-shirt offensive lineman Anthony Gatti tells us about his first year as a Missouri Tiger and what he hopes to accomplish in 2011

During fall camp, freshmen OL Anthony Gatti 6'6" 295 quickly moved into contention for a spot on the two-deep, and began the season listed second for Missouri at the left offensive tackle position.  However, the Tigers remained relatively healthy along the offensive line throughout the 2010 season, and Gatti ended up with a red-shirt season. 

After RSF Mark Hill returned from an injury, Gatti eventually dropped down to the third team offense, and he saw extended action on the scout team.  During December, as the Tigers began their bowl practice schedule, Gatti and the other scout team players, had the opportunity to play on the Missouri side of the football, and was able to get our first look at Gatti on the playing field since fall camp.  After one of those practices, Gatti stopped by to visit with, and he talked about the opportunity at hand.

"It's a good experience,"  said Gatti.  "I think I did pretty good.  I've just got to work on my technique, to really be able to compete with those guys."

Gatti said that he thinks he's made a lot of progress since fall camp.  He said that playing on the scout team, and going against "one of the top defenses in the country" had helped him improve.  He also said that he's a "lot stronger", and cited the work he's done in the weight room as a factor in his improvement.

"That Gun Club, they put you through a lot,"  explained Gatti.  "But, it's all worth it."

I asked the big lineman what is his favorite part of practice.
"It's all pretty fun,"  Gatti replied.  "I like the 1-on-1 pass rush drill, because it's really competitive.  And, you're kind of in the spotlight.  It's 1-on-1, so it kind of shows you how good you're doing."

Gatti said that he's looking forward to the off-season conditioning, and to spring ball.  He talked about his goals for this coming season.

"I'm definitely going to try to get some playing time this upcoming year,"  said Gatti.

Gatti said that he expects to remain at tackle, but that he's willing to inside if needed.

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