The "L" stands for "Leader," apparently. (Photo via Bill Carter.)
Mizzou Football Links
The Trib (Dave Matter): Tigers back in action
● A couple apparent changes on the depth chart, at least according to the stretch lines and rotations during team drills: Matt Hoch worked with the first-team defense at defensive tackle ahead of Jimmy Burge, who worked more with the second group; Tavon Bolden was up to No. 2 at strong safety behind Kenronte Walker; Michael Boddie lined up at No. 2 right tackle behind Justin Britt and ahead of Chris Freeman; Jaleel Clark was lined up at Z-receiver (outside) instead of Y (inside), where he worked the previous two weeks.
● Gary Pinkel and defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski both praised Hoch, who’s making the transition from defensive end to defensive tackle. If I had to guess, once Sheldon Richardson returns in August after recovering from shoulder surgery, Hoch should be in line for the first D-tackle job off the bench. I’ll have more on his progress in Wednesday’s Tribune.
* L'Damian Washington told me after practice it was now his job to get Berkstresser ready. He is more able to do that job now, shedding the red jersey for the first time in a while. Washington seems ready to take on not only a more active role in the offense, but perhaps more leadership as well.
* Speaking of taking on a more active role, Marcus Lucas made a nice catch in double coverage during drills. Lucas had to leave early for class, but having a guy like him on the receiving end will make things easier on Berkstresser in the opening days of taking control.
So You Shouldn't Either
KC Star: Pinkel not worried about James Franklin
PowerMizzou: Rockhurst recruits visit Mizzou
Rivals.com: SEC breakdown: LSU looks for better 2013
Other Football Links
SB Nation (Spencer Hall): The NCAA Tournament, College Football, And Bad Action Movies: You're Getting More
SB Nation (Self-Share): 2012 Texas State Football Preview: Big Plays In, Big Plays Out
Mizzou Basketball Links
KC Star (Campus Corner): Mike Alden's thoughts on Frank Haith, Norfolk State and the season that ended too soon
Truth is, Alden still looks pretty smart for hiring Haith, despite a quick exit from the NCAA Tournament. Haith led a team with seven scholarship players to one of the finest seasons in school history.
"Frank has exceeded all expectations this year," Alden said.
Alden added that Missouri's 30-5 record and Big 12 tournament title wasn't "necessarily on the radar screen" when he hired Haith, so he's not going to get too caught up in the Norfolk State loss.
"People always talk about the body of work, and it's truly accurate," Alden said. "You have to analyze an entire season, not just one game.
"So what I try to do is put it in context. You know that it's sports, so every so often, something like that is going to happen."
The Trib: Haith's focus turns to next year
Haith aims to make Missouri one of those programs as soon as next season, and that means building up the roster as much as possible before making the move. He has two open scholarships for next season with less than a month until the start of the spring signing period, which begins April 11.
"We're going to use them," Haith said. "We're going to find a way, whether it be a guy that can help us this year or another transfer opportunity. … We would like to have one more impact guy in the post if we can."
Haith cannot discuss specific prospects, but Missouri is believed to be courting Devonta Pollard, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Mississippi whom Rivals.com ranks as the ninth-best prospect in the 2012 class. He is the type of player from the Southeast that the Tigers should have a better chance of recruiting after switching leagues.
MU, too, has shown interest in Philip Nolan, a 6-10 center from Milwaukee, whom Rivals.com ranks 102nd. The Tigers also have a verbal commitment from Florida guard Shawn Smith, who announced his intention to play for Missouri last August but did not sign during the early period in November.
Other Mizzou Links
MUtigers.com: No. 10 Tigers Face Hawkeyes on Wednesday
MUtigers.com: Tigers Host Indiana State Wednesday at 3 p.m.
SimmonsField.com: Game Day: Indiana State Sycamores @ MU
Mizzou Network: Baseball Opens Big 12 Play
The Trib: Missouri baseball tickets will cost $1
Mizzou Network: Mizzou Legends: Max Scherzer
MUtigers.com: Pell to Step Down as Assistant Coach
MUtigers.com: Seven Tigers Receive Academic Honors
For those who didn't catch the story, Bolton's Fabrice Muamba went into cardiac arrest during a match versus Tottenham on Saturday. Somehow he has thus far survived.
Dirty Tackle: Fabrice Muamba asks 'did we lose?' after waking in hospital from match collapse