1. Oh hello, random 2013 addition
There were rumblings this past week that Mizzou football had a surprise 2013 visitor in town. Those rumblings were confirmed late Friday night as word started to leak that Grand Prairie (Texas) South defensive tackle DeQuinton Osborne had committed. […]
Decisions this late in the process are not typical, but Osborne was very open when describing what caused his delay.
"There were other schools that had came to me and had offers for me and wanted me to come to their school," he said. "The main reason I committed so late, though, is that I had to take care of some academic things. At the end of the football season I was aware of that and I got done what I had to get done in the classroom and now I am able to come to Mizzou."
"I said ‘Coach, I’ve got a kid for you that I think is gonna qualify,’" Whitson recalled. "The kid has a great highlight tape, so after five or six plays, we shut the video off and got him out of class." […]
Whitson said Osborne, a two-star prospect according to Rivals.com, originally had offers from Texas Tech and Baylor, but both were contingent on him qualifying academically. Things looked bleak for him on that end – he needed to raise his GPA in his core classes heading into his final semester of high school – and he committed to Kilgore Junior College in February, just in case he failed to make the grade.
"He needed 3 A’s and a B his last semester and he’d never done that before," Whitson said, "but he pulled it off."
All that hard work paved for the way for a senior season in which he racked up 58 tackles (14 for loss) and four sacks from his nose tackle position, despite routine double teams. He also did it in Texas’ biggest classification, 5A, and in the same district as perennial powers Cedar Hill and DeSoto.
South Grand Prairie finished 5-5 and lost to both teams handily, but Whitson said he made sure Missouri had the film of Osborne’s play in those games.
"If you’re going to watch him, watch him play against the best in Texas," Whitson said. "He plays with low leverage and he’s great with his hands. Coaches want to see arm length, fast hands and explosiveness and he has all those things."
Steckel and defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski served as the lead recruiters for Osborne, who Whitson says benches 340 pounds, squats 555 pounds and has the arm length of someone who stands about 6-feet-4.
“The last two weeks have been crazy,” SGP coach Brent Whitson said.
It might seem crazy how long it took recruiters to find Osborne, who had 54 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks and a fumble recovery last season. He was a unanimous all-district selection in 7-5A, which is a recruiting gold mine.
But Osborne’s impressive season came after most top college programs had long lists of player commitments. Most of them committed after strong junior seasons, which was the year when Osborne struggled.
He was a backup most of his junior season and wasn’t in great shape. When recruiters asked to see film of Osborne’s junior year, Whitson resisted.
“If I show you the film,” Whitson told them, “you’ll never come back.”
After Osborne’s junior season, the SGP coaches talked with him about making changes. He needed to work harder and have a better attitude, they said. He needed to do the things he had never done to become the player he wanted to be.
“I took it all in,” Osborne said.
Then he decided to be the player that he was last season: a dominant force in the middle of SGP’s defense. It still could’ve been too late to attract a big-time college scholarship if not for some of the other coaches in 7-5A.
2. DeMarre Carroll is happy and secure
Carroll acknowledged the challenge that’s come with changing positions—from power forward to small forward—at the NBA level.
"It’s been a lot of adapting and a lot of hard work," he said. "The summer time, that’s when I really put in all my work. I go the hardest during the summer, and during the season, I usually go in the gym at night with some of my family members and we get shots up. It’s just a repetition thing. I think it’s all about confidence and just being able to be confident in what you can do.
"I had to get back to the basics of being the Junkyard Dog the way I was my senior year in college and adding more to it like hitting down the jumper and being able to handle the ball, and I think giving credit to myself and my family members and my agent and my trainers, I think it worked out for the best. I think I haven’t even touched most of my talent yet. I think I’ve got a lot more in the tank."
3. The upgrades begin
"We’ve had a lot of kids comment over the years, ‘Talk to me when you have a real locker room,’" Jamieson said. "It was never really serious, kind of tongue-in-cheek. But I can remember days when I first got here that we wouldn’t show them the field. I remember taking a kid by the fence (on Stadium Boulevard) and saying, ‘There it is.’ And I’d keep going."
Those days are over now that Taylor Stadium is undergoing a $4 million makeover, one of several ongoing renovations at Mizzou as the school finds its stride in the facilities race across the Southeastern Conference.
Jamieson’s program is getting a 4,000-square foot clubhouse down the third-base line, complete with a plush locker room, training room, player lounge and coaches’ offices.
The oval-shaped locker room, modeled after the Cardinals’ and Nationals’ major-league clubhouses, will give Taylor Stadium the "wow factor" it’s been missing, Jamieson said.
Facilities are both why I'm okay with giving Tim Jamieson another year in charge and why I was most concerned about baseball when Mizzou announced its move to the SEC. Mizzou's football facilities are not Alabama's and never will be, but they're competitive. In baseball, I haven't really ever gotten the impression that Mizzou's facilities are competitive. If the Tigers upgrade in this regard and still aren't competitive enough, then we move on from Jamieson. But the foundation has to improve, or any coach will be starting from behind the 8-ball.
4. Very cool
5. Watch your mouth
6. All sports roundup
Track & Field
The Trib: Last leaps for Malcom Pennix, Tigers
I know it's very "White people love..." and all, but ... damn, do I love Talib Kweli.
Some random NSFW in here (especially on "Broken Glass")...