This spring, the Missouri Tigers are auditioning for spots along the offensive line, following the graduation of three starters from last year's unit. Senior offensive guard, Jack Meiners, is one of just two offensive linemen to have played as a true freshman during Gary Pinkel's tenure as the Missouri Head Coach. Meiners made six starts in 2011, and saw a lot of action, mostly playing on the left side. This spring, Meiners is listed as the starting right guard. He talked about moving to the right side, and about preparing for his senior season.
"I know I played left guard last year," said Meiners. "But, I just feel like right side is my stronger side. I played right side since I was about ten years old maybe. That's just the side that I feel more comfortable on."
Meiners went on to say that he and right tackle Justin Britt are really good friends, and that the experience and coordination that they developed playing side by side last year will help them this year.
I asked Meiners what he's working on this spring?
"The one thing that Coach Henson and Coach Walker are really working on with me is just my punch off the line," replied Meiners. "They think I've really come a long way with my steps on the right side, and just my footwork. But, the one thing that I really need to work on is my punch, especially in the run and pass game. It's just that I'm punching too high. So, that allows the defender to get into my chest, as opposed to I want to get into his chest. The one thing that I'm really working on this spring is getting a low punch in his chest. That's going to help me in the run and pass game, being able to control guys."
"It's about keeping your hands low, coming more from low to high," explained Meiners.
The 6'5", 312-pound Meiners talked about his pre-spring testing results. He reported a 5.09 forty-yard dash, a 31" vertical jump, 460-pound maximum in the bench, a PR of 34 reps at 225 pounds, and a school-record of 805 pounds in the squat.
Meiners said that one of his goals for his senior year is to become more of a leader.
"We need a lot of people to step up," said Meiners. "Especially going into this new conference, there will be a lot of new challenges and everything. So, we're all going to really need to step up and take a leadership role."