Basketball has been dominating headlines in recent days, obviously, but Mizzou Football has had a couple more practice as it approaches Spring Break.
The Trib: MU's Ray, Golden lay it on the line
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Missouri Spring Practice Notes: The "About Shane Ray's 40..." edition
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Missouri Spring Practice Notes: The "Etched in Granite" edition
Right now, Kentrell Brothers is in the middle, Michael Scherer is on the strong side and Donavin Newsom and Darvin Ruise are on the weak side. All of them have cross-trained, though Brothers is the one that has had to be most versatile in his Missouri career: "There’s nothing like experience. You can not undervalue the experience he has and brings to the table. He knows the defense. The thing that’s nice is Scherer, Newsom and Ruise, they all have that experience from all those reps in the fall."
Experience is something the Tigers' linebackers just don't have right now. Brothers and Ruise played regularly last year. Nobody else in camp did. Quoth Stec: "They’re still young puppies. They’ve got to grow into dogs real quick...I coach them like they’re all starters and they’re all ready to play tomorrow. They’ve just got to keep pushing the envelope and keep working. If you treat them like they’re inexperienced and third-string, they’ll act like they’re inexperienced and third-string. Self-fulfilling prophecies, I guess."
All of them know Mauk has a step on them when it comes to winning Missouri's starting quarterback race. All of them also know upward mobility is a possibility.
"It's a loaded quarterback room. That's what's exciting," Hosick said. "You know that, because of the competition, our team is going to be better off for it. There's no doubt I'm approaching this spring like I'm going to come out and be the starter. I wouldn't be here at the University of Missouri if I didn't feel I had something to contribute to us winning our first national championship. I'm here to win a spot.
"I, just like the rest of the quarterbacks, intend to be the starter."
Offensive coordinator Josh Henson said he feels comfortable that whoever wins the job will be able to execute Missouri's playbook, with minor tweaks to play to the strengths of the man behind center. Even the redshirt freshmen.
Perhaps no member of the 2013 class has made a more surprising move than defensive end Charles Harris. Pinkel's staff has made a habit out of finding under-the-radar recruits and hidden gems. But Harris is an extreme example, even for the Tigers. [...]
"I don't think he did a lot of weight training, things like that, but we saw this raw kid athletically. We watched his film and you didn't see a guy who was really a very good football player, but you saw an athlete with size," Pinkel said. "We got some of his basketball film. I saw as much of his basketball film as anything so we knew he was a really good athlete.
"Now the intangibles. Is he going to be mentally tough? Will he be physical? A lot of those things you didn't see. Guess what? We hit on all of them. He's smart, he's a competitor, he's mentally tough, he's physically tough and he's got great desire. Those intangibles, if two of those didn't work, he probably wouldn't have played much. Ding, ding."
In a swap from the 2013 season, Missouri's deepest position on the defensive line may be at tackle entering this spring. The Tigers return their big four from a year ago -- Matt Hoch, Lucas Vincent, Harold Brantley and Josh Augusta -- and have three more redshirt freshmen (A.J. Logan, Nate Crawford and DeQuinton Osborne), along with Rickey Hatley and Evan Winston, who could add even more talent to the group this year.
Kuligowski hasn't been shy about using three or four defensive end formations at times in game. Should the defensive tackles continue to progress, he's not ruling out a defensive jumbo package.
"Who knows? If we've got four great d-tackles, then, hey, maybe we find a way to use four great d-tackles all at once," Kuligowski said. "That's a challenge for all of them."
PowerMizzou: Spring Practice Gallery
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Eddie Printz
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: J'Mon Moore
PowerMizzou: Redshirt Q&A: Anthony Sherrills
PowerMizzou: Redshirt Q&A: Shaun Rupert
Gary Pinkel: Mizzou Mic'd Up: Freshman Logan Cheadle