Ricker was also Illinois' primary recruiter on 2015 offensive line prospect Gabe Megginson, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound four-star recruit -- according to 247Sports.com's composite scores -- from Jacksonville, Ill., who Missouri courted heavily before he committed to the Illini in April.
Ricker, 34, started every game for Mizzou from 2000-03, setting the ream record for career starts. He was a team captain as a senior and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors. Born in Windsor, Mo., Ricker later moved to Klein, Texas, and joined Mizzou under Larry Smith’s coaching staff in 1999.
I wouldn't expect formal announcement on Ricker hiring for a few days - maybe next week. But he's definitely headed to Mizzou.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) July 9, 2014
Per Rivals, 4 of Illini's 12 commitments for 2015 are Ricker's recruits. All O-linemen. Walker's primary area was Texas; Ricker's from Texas— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) July 9, 2014
A reminder that Bill C called this last week:
5. Missouri Tigers: No Koney Ealy and no Michael Sam, no problem. Okay, that might be a bit of an overstatement. But by my count, there are five returning players here with more than 30 tackles. Beyond the loss of Ealy and Sam, though, the main question is how this team allowed 4.2 yards a carry last year, and how much they can improve. In any case, offensive lines probably won't like lining up against Markus Golden, Matt Hoch, Lucas Vincent and Shane Ray -- the spring depth chart for Mizzou.
9) Missouri: Markus Golden is a known quantity, but DE Shane Ray is a real potential star. But losing Michael Sam and Kony Ealy is just more than I expect Mizzou to overcome. Especially in the pass rush, they'll take a step back this year.
The Tigers return ends Markus Golden and Shane Ray, backups last year who combined for 11 sacks and 22 tackles for loss. Golden, a powerful bull rusher off the edge, might be the best player on the roster, despite not starting a game since the 2010 season, when he was a junior college linebacker.
SEC MEDIA DAYS
Junior center Evan Boehm, senior defensive end Markus Golden and sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk will represent Missouri during its time in the media spotlight next Wednesday, the SEC announced.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 16 Missouri – Gary Pinkel, QB Maty Mauk, C Evan Boehm, DE Markus Golden
X & Ology
Tunnel Screen The tunnel screen is one that can be very difficult to defend as well. Tunnel screens, are the exact opposite of the bubble screen in that the ball is coming from outside-in, rather than inside-out. Most offenses that employ this tactic will also release the OL down field almost immediately, or will use a covered-uncovered principle, whereas the covered OL cut the defender and the uncovered OL attack the second and third levels of the defense immediately. This makes the defending of the tunnel difficult as the OL attacking the second level, will cut off pursuit. This leaves the defense vulnerable in the middle area, allowing the offense to get significant chunks of yardage if not handled properly.
The good news for the Celtics is, they have a trio of young guards on non-guaranteed contracts they can cut at no cost this fall. Phil Pressey, Chris Johnson and Chris Babb are on all non-guaranteed deals worth less than $1 million in 2014-15. The safest appears to be Pressey, the 5-foot-8 backup point guard who is set to make $816,000. "The Celtics love Phil Pressey," a source told Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.
Phil Pressey’s line (13 points, 5-for-12 shooting, 1-for-4 from deep, two assists, three steals, three turnovers) doesn’t sound great, but he was probably the Celtics best player. Maybe I’m imagining things, but with one year of experience under his belt, the point guard just seems a lot more comfortable than he did last summer. He knows what he wants to accomplish on every possession. He’s looking for fast breaks at every opportunity. He just seems in control of the game’s pace, like someone at his position should.
For Phil Pressey, athleticism is far from the problem. He’s listed a little generously at 5’11, but he can dunk with relative ease, and he’s blindingly quick — a trait which allows him to get just about wherever he wants to go on the floor (asked about the competition at Summer League, Pressey said "I’m getting to my spots a lot easier and quicker. I was like ‘Wow.’"). It also gives him a competitive advantage defensively. It’s difficult to dribble when a shorter player is pressuring you, beating you to every spot you want to reach.
A photo of Carolina Panthers players Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin and Kony Ealy was published on Reddit with the title "So, Cam, Kelvin, and Kony are pushing a car that broke down right in front of you. What’s the first thing that runs through your mind?"
Sure, Ealy may have a difficult time making a splashy debut in Carolina due to the presence of Pro Bowl defensive ends Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson ahead of him on the depth chart. Given that Hardy is currently only signed on a one-year Franchise tender and is "armed" with plenty of off-field concerns and that Johnson is in the middle of a huge contract (six-year, $76 million) general manager Dave Gettleman's willingness to overlook bigger needs and stick with the Best-Player-Available strategy to stop Ealy's shocking slide deep into the second round will pay off soon enough.
St. Louis also happens to be a team with an embarrassment of riches along the defensive line. To hear the carefully qualified statements of teammates and coaches at the end of OTAs was to conclude that the gifted, undersized Sam is right on the bubble.
"Mike has NFL ability," declared Fisher. "He’s gonna play in the league. Whether it’s here, I can’t say right now, because of our depth at position."
Why he might improve: The players around Smith will dictate whether or not we can see him as having "improved." Smith's game doesn't necessarily require him having huge stats, he's effective whether he gets the sack or not. But he can always get a few more sacks, and I suppose that would be improvement. At his age, improvement isn't necessarily the goal so much as it is keeping yourself consistent.
There are MORE Kreklows?
"There’s always been pressure in my family to perform well," Ali Kreklow said.