Mizzou Links, 6-12-08

This weekend, three Mizzou Wrestlers (two former, one current) will attempt to make the U.S. Olympic Team. Mizzou 25 Champion Ben Askren is the #1 seed at 74 kg freestyle, while Matt Pell is #6 at 84 kg freestyle and Max Askren is #5 at 96 kg freestyle. The finals are on Sunday and will be televised (on-line) at NBCOlympics.com.

Decision day is approaching for those who threw their names into the hat for the NBA draft, and Steve Walentik looks at some players on the bubble, including a few Big 12ers and half of the North Carolina starting lineup.

The Missourian checks in on the NCAA Track & Field championships and finds that Mizzou athletes Nick Adcock and Lars Rise are sitting 4th and 6th, respectively, halfway through the decathlon.

Now...on to football.

The KC Star checks in on Chase Coffman:

In Missouri’s sixth game — and its first loss — at Oklahoma, Coffman caught 10 passes for 102 yards. But because of bone spurs in an ankle, Coffman caught only 18 passes in the last eight games, missing the Big 12 championship-game loss to Oklahoma entirely.

Despite finishing his junior season with 52 receptions for 523 yards and becoming the MU career leader in TD catches, Coffman had trouble looking at himself in the mirror.

"It made me feel bad about myself," said Coffman, who spent the rest of the year trying to rehab the ankle.

"I wasn’t in shape," Coffman said. "I wasn’t able to keep up as much or be able to be ahead of the groups that I usually would be ahead of in conditioning.

"I felt like I had just taken a step backwards."

The rest of his season was limited largely to point-to-point pass routes, such as passes to the back of the end zone.

Surgery removed the bone spurs. On Monday, Coffman said he felt he was finally getting back to the kind of shape he needs to be in.

That's, uhh, a pretty nice thought.

PowerMizzou talks to 4-star Mansfield (TX) RB Stepfan Taylor, and it sounds like Mizzou's in pretty solid shape with him. As has been mentioned here before, Taylor is a good friend of Mizzou soon-to-be-freshman Kenji Jackson, and they're pretty close (they dance in Wal Marts together...and in driveways)...which certainly can't hurt.

Finally, we'll finish up with Rivals videos of two WRs: first, Mizzou commit Kerwin Stricker hauls it in. Now...when I look at all these highlight videos, the first thing I want to see is, are they successful on something other than go routes and fade routes? Those are things you get away with when you are a stud athlete in high school, but your odds of collegiate success aren't particularly high if that's all your good at. The first half of this video is nothing but the QB saying, "Hey Kerwin...go long!" And while he looks super fast and athletic...the competition isn't particularly hot. The second half of the video, however, is very much worth watching. It shows someone who is a strong, tough runner with good hands, and then it shows a GREAT kick/punt returner. He gets to full speed very quickly and is able to maneuver through traffic.

The second Rivals video isn't a highlight video, but instead an AMP interview with 5-star Memphis WR Marlon Brown. I like this kid. I mean...it's easy to like his video...

...and yes, I'm pretty sure I've linked to this video before...
...watching the Rivals interview, it's pretty clear that he's really excited about the attention he's getting. That's always good. You're always worried about hearing these kids talk and sound cocky and entitled...and then it's kind of hard (for me, at least) to track these kids and wish they'll play for your school. Throughout the interview, Brown talks about he loves this team and these coaches...and he loves this other team and their coaches...and he obviously loves this team...etc. The odds of his attending Mizzou are obviously about 5% at best (and that's probably optimistic), but as he mentions at the end of the video, he's going to give us a shot. While there's always a chance he goes out to the USC camp and commits on the spot, all you can hope for is to get him on the Mizzou campus, show him Blaine Gabbert and the other WRs in the corps, and hope for the best. We'll see what happens.

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