On Friday, the Missouri Tigers continued Spring Football 2014 with two-and-a-half-hour practice on Faurot Field. Again, enthusiasm ran high. Afterwards, Coach Pinkel talked about the first fully padded practice of the spring.
"I thought that it was overall, a good practice," said Coach Pinkel. "It was the first day of pads. It was very competitive, which is good. We've just got a long way to go to become a good football team, which is normal at this time of year. But I thought we competed really well. And you know, we got a lot of work done. You know, the whole key is to come out next Tuesday and learn from these things. On Monday, watch the film, first day of pads, and come out on Tuesday and really consciously focus on becoming a better football player at that practice. I want you to work real hard in practice, but I want to make sure that every rep you do that you try to become a better player. And that's how we'll become a better football team."
Coach Pinkel responded to a question about the red-shirt freshmen getting on the field this year.
"Most of the guys from that (2013) class red-shirted," said Coach Pinkel. "Most of those guys looked really good when we got in extra practices going to the Cotton Bowl. But, there's going to be quite a few (red-shirt freshmen) that I think will get in the depth. Some will probably happen this spring, and some will be probably in August. So, it's all good, though."
"We have really, two starters back at defensive end," said Coach Pinkel, referring to Shane Ray and Markus Golden as co-starters in 2013. "We have two really good young players behind them for depth. Harris and Loud are really, really good young prospects. Certainly, I think they'll be really, really good players. I don't know how fast we can get them there…………………………………………… Last year, we had four high-level guys that we were rotating in there………………………………………….. Hopefully, this young depth will come along and get better."
Coach Pinkel said that he saw Harris' athleticism on his basketball video from high school. He said that he was raw, but that he could see that Harris was "a pretty good athlete". Coach Pinkel went on to say that with Harris, the Tigers "hit on all of the intangibles".
"He's smart," said Coach Pinkel, beginning to list Harris' intangibles. "He's a competitor. He's mentally tough. He's physically tough. And, he's got great desire………………………………………….. He's going to be a real impact player!
Coach Pinkel said that the defensive tackle position is "going to be real competitive. It's going to be good!"
The defensive line is way ahead of the offensive line, which is normal at this time. Coach Pinkel likes to tell how his mentor, Don James, always told him that it's good when your defensive line is ahead of the offensive line in the spring. Well, Coach James would be excited about this spring's Tigers, because the defensive line is way ahead of the offensive line.
Another red-shirt freshman, tight end Jason Reese, is getting a real good opportunity to showcase his abundant ability. As a receiver, he's very smooth, and has terrific hands. Another red-shirt freshman receiver, J'Mon Moore, is another one who's very smooth and with terrific hands.