We’re continuing to wrap up Signing Day 2017 with a look at some of what Missouri’s coaches said about the Tigers’ 25 signees.
You can watch video interviews with Missouri’s 10 coaches — including director of recruiting A.J. Ofodile — from Signing Day HERE. But here is some of what Barry Odom’s coaching staff said about the Tigers’ signees projected to play on defense.
“They fill a need. We had a huge need at the defensive tackle spot and those guys are guys that come in ready to play. They’re veteran guys, they’re physical, they’re athletic. They play with technique, with energy. They bring a lot to the table just in terms of an ability to come in and play at the SEC level right away, so that was big for us in terms of a true need in our program.”
On if Young and Palmore remind him of anyone…
“Malik has a lot of similarities to Terry Beckner, just in terms of being a big guy that’s unusually athletic. He’s a guy that is very active, moves around, athletic enough to play defensive end like Terry. And I’m obviously paying him a huge compliment with what we think of Terry and what he is as a player.”
“Walt is also very athletic. He’s a guy who is more a point-of-attack guy, though. He’s a guy that uses his hands tremendously and has a great feel for that side of it. So he’s a little bit heavier, a little bit more stout of a guy. So he brings that forceful dimension to that position.”
Defensive line coach Brick Haley on Kobie Whiteside…
“He’s a very powerful, explosive young man that loves the game of football. If you talk to him, that’s all he talks about. That’s what he wants to be around. That’s what he wants to do. He’s a very, very serious young man. He’s about his business. He does things the right way. He’s a young man that you want in your program and he’s a heck of a football player on top of that.”
Defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross on Whiteside…
“To go in and to get Kobie, I think he is probably the one that is the most physically ready (to contribute early) and also plays the game at the level you need him to play at.”
Ofodile on adding commitments from four defensive tackles in the final three days in Whiteside, Caleb Sampson, Young and Palmore…
“It was huge. Just from a sheer number standpoint we obviously knew we had some work to do at that position and at the same time we have a standard that we expect at that position so we didn’t want to settle for anything less than that standard. We were able to go out and pinpoint some guy and fortunately for us Malik and Walt and Rashad (Brandon), as far as from a junior college standpoint, those were the top three guys that we evaluated and we ended up landing the top three guys, the top three junior college guys, on our board. At that particular position that doesn’t happen every day. So we feel like we did a great job addressing a need.”
“One of those linebackers, if not both, are going to compete for a starting job if not play a lot.”
“Jordan, he’s 6-2, 190 pounds, and is an enforcer. He’s a hard-hitting guy. He’s got good range in the back end. Good ball skills. A guy that when he makes contact, there’s no YAC (yards after contact) yards. He loves the physical nature of the football game.”
“Josh Bledsoe is a versatile guy. He can play in the box or play back. He also played on offense a little bit. He’s got good ball skills. Just a football-savvy kid.”
“Tyree Gillespie can do it all. He’s a 6-foot, 207-pound. I think he was 10.7 (seconds) in the 100-meter dash. Fast kid. He’ll hit you. He also was a guy that played running back for his team and was very impactful there.”
“So all three of those guys have different qualities. All of them are 6-foot or higher. We’re looking to add some girth, some height and some range to the back end.”
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