The silly spectacle known as the NFL Combine is ongoing, and Missouri has sent quite the batch of talent: Justin Britt, Kony Ealy, E.J. Gaines, Henry Josey, Marcus Lucas, Michael Sam, and L'Damian Washington. While Sam is the obvious headliner, that's quite a bit of star power. While we await updates from the proceedings, here are some links.
The Missourian: Michael Sam's new agents are 'willing to hustle'
Fox Sports MW: Michael Sam's secret was always safe with his Mizzou teammates
Fox Sports MW: Michael Sam's historic NFL journey is set to make its first big stop
More than Sam
When I arrived at Missouri, I was about 217 pounds. I got up to about 250 my freshman year, 265 my sophomore year, to 268 to 272 to 275. Right now, I'm around 272 just because I'm training with Chip Smith in Atlanta and it's hard to keep weight on. I'm not getting fat or anything. My task is to perform well in front of these coaches at the combine and have a great interview process. I want to show them how consistent I can be and how much I put into it, especially at my size, and I think that's what a lot of them are going to be observing.
I've been asked a lot about Michael Sam since he made his announcement. Mike is just like a brother to me. I never looked at him any differently. He goes in day in and day out and does what he's supposed to do. He doesn't bring any drama or anything to the team. He's a good leader and he's a good, hard worker. More than that, he's a good roommate, teammate and friend, period.
Of course, I would want people talking about me, but it's not a measuring contest of who they're talking about more — it's for me to go out and perform for these coaches and GMs.
"I’m enjoying it," Josey said. "I have the passion to play the game, but it’s different now that I just have to focus on playing the game and not waking up going to class. It’s great to focus only on football, and I couldn’t be happier with what I’m doing every day." [...]
"It’s a lot different than training in college, because this is your life," Josey said. "This is your job, and it’s an opportunity everybody doesn’t get. Your preparation for it every day is so much more mentally focused on what you want to get done and how you want to portray yourself to these scouts."
He and speed coach Will Sullivan have been drilling every aspect of those four-and-change seconds at the Fischer Institute in Phoenix, from exploding out of a three-point stance to maintaining his speed to finishing strong across the line.
On Tuesday, Gaines will get to put all that training to the test in front of a national TV audience, hundreds of media members and scouts from all 32 NFL teams at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.
"That's the craziest part about it, how much work you do have to put into something that's going to take a little over four seconds," Gaines said. "But that's what NFL teams want to see."