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Mizzou Links, 6-26-08

Well...THAT was fun. Breathless coverage of Ronnie Wingo's unofficial visit to Columbia (They're on their way to town! They're on campus right this second!) paid off with a commitment...from a completely unknown Ft. Worth defensive end, Marvin Foster. And what about Wingo? No closer to a decision. Good times.

Anyway, Foster's commitment most certainly proves one thing--this staff has not even remotely changed its recruiting style now that it has found success. Recruiting Texas sleepers has been very good for Mizzou during the Pinkel tenure, and we're not going to stop now. That sucks for recruiting rankings, but...well, there's really not a lot of room to complain seeing how we've gotten to where we've gotten.

Oh yeah, and Dustin Hopkins, Rivals' #1 kicker in the country, committed to Florida State. He was considering Mizzou, Notre Dame, and others. "I had always grown up watching Florida State and Miami games and always said that if I was offered by them that I'd be so excited." If nothing else, that proves just how long Mizzou needs to sustain its success to develop a winning reputation...and how long it takes to lose that reputation when you stop winning. FSU has won 7, 7, and 8 games the last three years (as compared to Mizzou's 12, 8, and 7), but kids are going to continue seeing Florida State as a bigger program than Mizzou for the foreseeable future.

Dave Matter has two new blog posts up, the first ranking the Big 12 WR/TE corps (among other things), the second confirming that Dominic Grooms is indeed not returning to Mizzou. Certainly not surprising at this point. While it means next to nothing for 2008, Grooms' departure means that the 2009 QB competition will be between a likely redshirt freshman (Blaine Gabbert) and a cluster of true freshmen (Blaine Dalton, and whoever else we sign in this class). I honestly expected that to be the case anyway, with or without Grooms, but that was blind speculation on my part. Heh, 2009 would not be a good time to see a series of injuries...that's for sure.

The KC Star has a quick but peppy story on new KC Chief Will Franklin and his thoughts about the upcoming Tiger season. To no one's surprise, he's quite optimistic about the program he left behind.

Switching to basketball for a second, Mizzou's #1 target for 2009, KC's Mike Dixon, calls Mizzou "almost a perfect fit", but is nowhere near being ready to Mizzou or anywhere else.

Meanwhile, with the NBA Draft tonight, the Star checks in on the two Tigers who threw their names into the draft hopper for a while, then withdrew them. Leo Lyons and Demarre Carroll both think the process helped them. They don't mention specific feedback that they received or anything (which would have been interesting to hear), but it's bumped their confidence levels up a few notches, and that can't be a bad thing.

The Trib has a lovely story on Christian Cantwell, who finally gets a chance to put the disastrous 2004 Olympic trials behind him.

Cantwell was considered the favorite at the 2004 Trials in Sacramento, Calif., having owned four of the world’s longest throws that year. At the Trials, though, Cantwell fouled on all but one of his attempts and finished fourth, ending a 14-meet winning streak that, more devastatingly, kept him from joining the American team in Athens.


Thoughts of Sacramento might forever burn inside his memory, but he’s made peace with that part of his legacy. Speaking candidly last week - the only way the 27-year-old knows how - he suggested that time has healed those wounds.

"I realize that the worst that can happen is I don’t make the team," he said. "That’s the worst. And that’s not too bad. I still get to compete after that and go to other meets. I have my son I get to come home and see. Sometimes in war, the worst thing that can happen to people is they die. For us, the worst thing that can happen is we don’t make the team. It’s not the end of the world.

Meanwhile, the Post-Dispatch has a story on another Mizzou thrower and Olympic hopeful, Jason Morris. Morris is a StL product and hammer thrower.

Finally...this really is awesome. It'd be even cooler if it were a school like Idaho State instead of Fresno State (FSU is established enough as a program that they didn't totally feel like an a George Mason did in basketball), but it was extremely easy to root for Fresno...against an SEC team in particular (and not just because my Pirates drafted two different Fresno pitchers...)!