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Mizzou Links, 8-18-08

 Scrimmage reports!  All the usual suspects check in with their descriptions of Saturday's "sloppy" scrimmage.

  • - "Freshman DE Jacquies Smith recorded three sacks while fellow freshman Kenji Jackson scooped up a bobbled pitch and returned it 49 yards. Earlier, Jackson had a sure interception snagged from the air by a leaping Wes Kemp."
  • The Trib - '"We’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to be ready for this first football game," Pinkel said. "Obviously, that’s my job to get it done."'
  • Dave Matter's Blog - "[Brian] Coulter limped off the field after two plays of the third unit’s first series. I know fans want to read that he’s going to redefine the defensive end position at MU and make people forget Justin Smith, but let’s seriously hold off the jersey retirement ceremony. For one, Coulter hasn’t been healthy since he stepped on the field. The latest setback could reveal further damage. Secondly, Coulter has to outplay the No. 2 defensive ends before he can even think about unseating Stryker Sulak or Tommy Chavis, two of the better defensive ends in the Big 12. That’s not happening any time soon, if ever."
  • PowerMizzou - Player of the Day: Gotta be Wes Kemp. Before today, I would not have mentioned him as a freshman that might play, but when Perry went out, Kemp got reps with the first team offense and really looked good. The DeSmet product could find his way on the field yet.
  • KC Star - '“Chase Patton is playing as good as I’ve ever seen him play,” Daniel said. “He made one bad read out of 35 snaps today. I’m not perfect. He’s not perfect. But he’s playing at a much higher level than he used to play at.”'
  • Post-Dispatch - "But errors in execution irked Pinkel. In a red-zone sequence starting at the 20-yard line, the No. 1 offense advanced to the 5 against the No. 2 defense. But a false start forced the Tigers to the 10. Too many balls rolled on the ground from fumbles and bad snaps. The first major skirmish of camp broke out in the end zone between Elvis Fisher, the newly minted starting left tackle, and defensive lineman Dominique Hamilton."

 PowerMizzou has a nice story on the emerging youth on the defensive line.  Not only are all four backups RSFr's--Michael Keck and Chris Earnhardt at DE, Terrell Resonno and Dominique Hamilton at DT--but now they're getting a push from a couple of true freshmen--DEs Jacquies Smith and Marcus Malbrough are both getting snaps with the 2nd team now.

 The Trib's Steve Walentik checks in on some of the other true freshmen.

Gabbert’s status might be of greatest interest to fans, but a few other freshmen figure to have far bigger impacts than the backup quarterback if they make it into Missouri’s rotation.

Linebacker Will Ebner remains the only true freshman promised a chance to play this season, but the Tigers are also likely to turn to a couple of rookie pass catchers to help overcome the loss of All-American tight end Martin Rucker and survive until junior wide receiver Danario Alexander can make it back onto the field. Alexander is not expected to play until October after a second surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Wide receivers Wes Kemp, Gahn McGaffie and Jerrell Jackson and tight ends Michael Egnew and Andrew Jones could all get chances to bolster a receiving corps that has looked thin and is getting thinner. Earlier this week, senior tight end Chase Coffman underwent surgery to repair fractured right pinky finger. Then in yesterday’s scrimmage, junior wideout Jared Perry sustained what Pinkel described as "real mild dislocation" in his right shoulder while attempting to reel in a fade pass against Tremane Vaughns.

Coffman and Perry are expected to play in the season opener against Illinois, but their injuries emphasized the Tigers’ need to identify some capable backups.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Kemp, who starred at DeSmet High School in St. Louis, could yet be one of them. He saw action with the No. 1 offense after Perry exited and enjoyed one of his most productive days since practice started. Largely unnoticed over the past week, he hauled in two catches for 51 yards. He made a good adjustment on a slightly underthrown deep pass from walk-on Luther Roweton and turned it into a 29-yard gain.

 Granted, the major change happened a few days ago, but the Post-Dispatch has a relatively large story up regarding the changes to the O-line.  And probably more interestingly, they also have a story on just how good a recruiting job Andrew Jones ended up doing with a couple now-classmates last year.

 Oh goodie, Bernie Miklasz is paying attention to Mizzou again.

 Quick recruiting blurbs: Texas DE Terrance Lloyd has set up his first official visit, and it's to Columbia.  Meanwhile, Texas WR Cobi Hamilton has a top two of Mizzou and Arkansas.

 In soccer news, Mizzou's second exhibition game went off without a hitch--they destroyed Illinois State, 5-0.  Sophomore Alysha Bonnick had a hat trick.

 Finally, to the surprise of...well...meAaron Crow did NOT sign with Washington after all.  He'll play for the Fort Worth Cats for the time being.  I hate it when draft picks don't sign--I don't understand why every league doesn't just have a setup like the NBA.  You get your rookie contract, it's not worth a helluva lot, and then you make an insane amount when the rookie contract runs out.  Mizzourah has more thoughts on that.

Meanwhile, in an 11th hour move, MU prospect Jared Cosart signs with the Phillies.  They must have thrown a ton of money at him (as he was picked in the 38th round), but he seemed to be having an amazing summer and piqued their interests.  More on the summer Cosart was having (or had) can be found here.  It seems like a new draft strategy is to draft a few Cosart-types (signed to play in college, said "If I'm drafted after the __ round, I'm going to college") late...and if you decide that you're not going to be able to sign one of your top picks, you can throw high-round money at them just in case.  The Pirates threw huge money at a couple of late-round picks thought unsignable, after their 2nd round pick demanded too much money after coming off of an arm injury.

(And by the way...bully to my Pirates for whipping out the checkbook on this draft class.  Their minor league system was horrendous a month ago, but they acquired 8 decent pieces for Bay, Nady, and Marte, and now they've signed 30+ members of a risky and relatively bold draft class.  I'm not signing up for 2013 World Series tickets just yet, but this has been the most positive month for the future of the Pirates since...uhh...1997?)