Two more free agent signings for Mizzou players! Mizzou 25 Semifinalist Pig Brown is signing a contract with the Chiefs (everybody's favorite team now, along with the Browns), while Greg Bracey's getting a tryout with the Chargers. Bracey's a long shot, you figure, but I'm sure I speak for most Mizzou fans when I say that I'm really, really excited that Pig's getting a chance to prove himself. Few players have made such a wonderful impression in half a season, and hopefully he'll be full-speed this summer with KC. If he is, you know he'll have a chance to stick on the roster.
Dave Matter has some random draft analysis here. He takes a look at everything from where Mizzou players ended up to some interesting undrafted players to how small schools get so damn many guys taken in the draft.
PowerMizzou catches up with their Illinois Rivals.com counterpart to check in on how UI's spring practices went.
What is the biggest loss on defense and how have the Illini replaced it?
JJ: Biggest losses were All-american middle linebacker J Leman and veteran safeties Kevin Mitchell, Justin Harrison. Brit Miller moves from outside backer to the middle replacing Leman but Illinois will be breaking in two new starters at the outside spot and linebacker other than Miller is a definite concern. Sophomore Travon Bellamy sat out last year with an injury but should be fine at free safety replacing Mitchell. Bellamy saw plenty of time as a true freshman at safety and has the experience, intelligence to be a solid player back there. Strong safety will be a camp battle between sophomores Bo Flowers, Nathan Bussey and incoming four star JC recruit Donsay Hardeman. I would expect Bussey to start against Mizzou. Safeties will be more athletic but not as experienced as Mitchell, Harrison.
What is the strength of the defense?
JJ: Illinois has plenty of talent on the defensive line, can rotate 8-10 solid players up front and that is the strength of the team not just defense.
The Mizzou OL vs Illinois DL matchup will decide this one. I can't be too afraid of the Juice-Williams-as-pocket-passer attack (Mizzou fans are still a little scarred by the "athletic QB becomes pocket-based" idea), but the reason Illinois came so close to beating us last Labor Day Weekend was because their D-line torched our O-line. I'm not as worried about the OL as some, but I am when it comes to this game.
One gets the feeling that if Mizzou could take nothing but WRs in the 2009 recruiting class, it would be a Top 15 class. The latest to show interest is Rivals' #60 player overall, Jheranie Boyd of Gastonia, NC. Some FANTASTIC quotes in that article. Here's one:
"It seems like they're building up something really really special there," said Boyd. "I think they would have played for the national championship last year if not for the last game. I don't' know what it is, but I like Missouri. I think if I went there, I'd have a lot of opportunities to do good things."
The KC Star has a quick blurb about tonight's MU-KU game, the Kerfuffle at Kaufmann. Meanwhile, I just heard on KOMU that Ian Berger, Ryan Gargano, Lee Fischer, and Steve Graves have been suspended for an as-yet-undefined amount of time (or maybe it was just last Sunday's game?) for breaking curfew Saturday night in College Station. Really? You're going to break curfew in College Station? Really? I realize you might have wanted to drink away Saturday's shellacking and all, but...really? College Station? Not, like, Austin or Kansas City or something? Really? Really. Really?
Finally, despite Mizzou Baseball's recent struggles, one thing is certain: more and more former Tiger standouts are producing in the pros. The Augusta Chronicle has a nice article on former Tiger and current Augusta Green Jacket Brock Bond, who's ripping the South Atlantic League to shreds at the moment. His averages have actually fallen to .400 (batting avg) / .455 (OBP) / .443 (SLG).