Tatum Making Great Strides

Tiger junior Linebacker is showing his talent this spring after coming back from injury

Missouri LB Josh Tatum  6'1" 235  4.58  took time after a recent practice to visit with ShowMeMizzou.

During recent testing, Tatum told us that he's pretty pleased with his forty time and overall testing, after being out for almost a year.  He feels that he's about 90% recovered from the lost time due to inactivity.  He expects to get back to being able to run his previous best of 4.48.  His vertical jump measured 39" recently, and he pushed 225 pounds 31 times, with a max of 465.  He said that with the liklihood of a medical red-shirt, he's considered a junior heading into 2010.

Tatum talked about spring ball.  "Practice is going great!  Every day, getting better.  Really getting down with the scheme of things, starting to get up to speed.  Getting my legs under me.  Feeling good, every day."

Tatum continued, addressing his approach to practice.  "Now that I'm fully healthy, I feel like I got to go every down, go hard, because I missed a lot.  I feel like I owe it to the guys and the organization to show everything that I got on every play."

Josh talked about working his way up the depth chart, and working toward assuming a leadership role.  "I figure after this first scrimmage, I'll definitely try to solidify myself as a leader.  Bringing that intensity every down, bringing the speed.  I think right now, I'm still learning.  The speed of it.  Once you know everything, and you're doing everything right, you play a lot faster.  Every day that I've come out here, I feel like I'm picking it up.  I'm getting in the study room.  Any error that I make, I'm capitalizing on it.  I feel good about this scrimmage coming up, so the week after that, people can look to me as a big play guy."

Tatum is currently listed #2 at the SLB position.  He said that he likes the SLB position, and feels confident after moving up the depth chart.  "I think that playing in space fits me well.  I think that's where Steck wants me.  I'm not even worried about moving up (the depth chart).  I'm a confident player............. That's how it is.  When you're at great Universities, the depth chart is packed with good players.  I thrive on it!  We thrive on competition."

Tatum talked about some of his teammates.  "I like what Ebner brings to the table, I like his big hit ability.  I like Z Good's speed.  I like Gachkar's awareness and knowledge of what's going on on the field.  I think everybody brings a certain dimension to the game."

Tatum continued, "I'm on every special team........... In order to be a great team, you got to have your athletes on the field.  That's what Coach Pinkel emphasizes.  He said the best people are going to be on special teams.  We saw last year that special teams wins games."

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