Defensive Tackle is always a tough position to recruit, and the Missouri Tiger fans can remember some lean years at that spot along the defense in years past.
The Tigers made two recent offers to a couple of Louisiana defensive tackles in Demarcus Hodge 6'1" 300lbs Monroe Neville high school and Gerrand Johnson 6'3" 270lbs Rayville high school.
ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with both players this week about the offers from the Tigers and their possible consideration of checking out Missouri for a college destination.
First we will give you our conversation with Gerrand Johnson.
"I got my offer from Missouri this past week."said Johnson "They really seem to like me and my film and I got the chance to talk to Coach Kul ( Tiger DL coach Craig Kuligowski), and he was just like his name, really cool."
Johnson said he is getting recruited by Josh Henson who is familiar with the area and is going back there for players. Gerrand has done his homework and has found out more about Missouri since the offer.
"I like Coach Henson a lot too. I got the chance to ask him a bunch of questions that I have gotten together to ask each school so that I will be going to a school that gives me the best chance to get a good education and help their players once they are off the field and out of college. Football is nothing but a tool to get that diploma. Going to the NFL and all that would be nice, but that doesn't happen for everyone, so I want to be prepared for the world beyond football. That is the most important thing in picking a college."
So did he like what he heard from the Tiger coaches?
"Oh, yeah. They seem to really care about their players and it seems like having them become successful people and not just successful football players is their biggest accomplishment they get from coaching."
"I also have seen Missouri play a few times. I like the intensity and the way the players seem to swarm to the ball. I like that kind of defense. I would like to get up there this summer and check them out. That is my plan. I will get together with my coach and try and work out a schedule. I am taking summer school so that I can graduate early, so I need to work around that. My plan is to transfer in at mid semester and compete in spring ball with whatever college I sign with."
Johnson is a polite and well spoken young man who did not start playing football until the 8th grade. It was his love of pizza that made him decide to play the sport.
"I didn't care about football growing up and couldn't understand why anyone would want to play it. Then one day all the football players in 8th grade got to leave early and eat pizza. Well, I love pizza, so I said I wanted to play. I feel in love with it and now here I am. I have about 12-13 colleges offering me a chance at an education. "
Gerrand describes his strengths as his explosiveness, quickness and ability to use his hands to his advantage.He said college coaches talk about how quick he is off the ball. He also transforms from his gentle nature to a more violent tone when talking about playing the game.
"My line coach here really stresses how important your hands are as a defensive lineman. He says you can control the line blindfolded if you know how to use your hands well enough. I use them pretty well.I also think I have a good motor. You have to get mean and nasty in the trenches. You take no prisoners. You leave your opponent in a ditch, bloody, and do whatever it takes to do your job and stop the offense. I will never be outworked"