Freshman and incoming junior college players got their first taste of Mizzou football this morning during a two-hour practice which was held inside the Dan Devine Pavillion. An early morning shower left the fields wet, so the walk-thru 10:30am practice was moved indoors. The gear for the first practice was shells and shorts.
Notably absent was incoming freshman TE Zack Zwilling. The highly recruited tight end out of St. Peters, Missouri missed practice for "personal reasons" according to MU Media Relations. Twenty-six players were on the roster provided the media (Zwilling's name was not on the list and a #44 who played OS also was not listed).
Also notable was the switch of former Tiger track star Russ Bell to the defensive line. Bell, who joined the team over the summer, worked this morning with Coach Kuligowski and three defensive end recruits, Zach Ville, Brian Smith, and Fabian Bean. All are listed as defensive linemen.
Several players stood out in this practice: "Chairman" Mau Uiagalelei sported some impressive follicle locks when he took his helmet off to run sprints. His hair currently extends almost to his tailbone. He looked like he should have been riding a horse in a Greek mythological epic.
- Russ Bell, DL, quick feet, and very good balance. Learning positioning will be the key, but the body and athleticism are there.
- Brian Smith, DL, this kid is an athlete, quick feet, and excellent speed. He could very easily be a linebacker or an OS. Needs to build some muscle and add weight.
- Bacon, good closing speed, pretty stout looking for a DB
- Harrington, OLB, impressive frame, size and speed. Looks raw, but reminds us of a younger, bigger Demontie Cross in Black and Gold.
- Fabian Bean, DE, solid looking player, needs to add some weight.
- Zach Ville, DL, showed good speed and balance today
- Chairman Mau, LB, looked a little slower than advertised
- Anthony Simone, LB, looked good in what limited time I saw him, a rangy looking player
- Steve Sanchez, OL, Jello1
- Howard Brissette, OL Jello2
- Lockhart, OL, This kid looks like the real deal. Good balance, good technique. I only saw him two or three times, but he reminded me of a smaller Orlando Pace. He could provide immediate help to the O-Line.
- Clinger, OT, Looked big and raw, but will be okay. Basically looked like what a freshman is supposed to look like at this stage.
Now having read this evaluation, keep in mind we didn't have a good view of the offense. These kids weren't hitting anybody today. They weren't flying all over the field. They were learning. Give them two weeks and then we'll have a better idea of what they'll look like.
INCOMPLETE LIST OF WALK-ONS
#37 Alex Mackey WR
#36 Andrew Hoskins WR
#43 Patrick Micklewright DB
#51 Stanford Richardson OL
#59 Anthony Simone LB
#73 Josh Randolph K*
There was another #73 playing D-Line. That player was big and thick, and had some quickness. We didn't see Randolph work out with as a kicker today.
The second practice of the day, to be held outside, is slated for 3:30 this afternoon.