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2014 Missouri spring football practice: Position changes and the confusing case of Harold Brantley

Maty Mauk's leadership style is different than James Franklin's, Harold Brantley has had a confusing spring, and Darius White and Anthony Sherrils are two players to watch in the spring game.

Bill Carter

We're less than two weeks from the end of spring football. Some thoughts at this juncture...

  1. I almost don't want Maty Mauk to play in the spring game. We know what we're getting from him, and a no-touch environment really isn't his style anyway. But I want to see as much as possible of Eddie Printz and Trent Hosick (another player done no favors by no-touch rules), and I want to see where we're at with Corbin Berkstresser. Mauk's good and probably going to be great, but he's a known quantity for me.

  2. Anthony Sherrils has apparently moved to safety, and that intrigues me. He is by most accounts the fastest player in the secondary, and while the most makes sense from a depth standpoint -- there's a lot more of it at corner than safety -- I want to see what he's able to do in a safety/nickel role. From a "known quantities" standpoint, we more or less know what we're getting from Braylon Webb and Ian Simon, but guys like Duron Singleton and Sherrils (and Cortland Browning, Chaston Ward, Shaun Rupert, etc., of course) could make this unit so much deeper than it has been in recent years.

  3. Looking forward to seeing what Darius White can do on the first string. He just didn't look like he was on the same page with James Franklin at times last year, and he's talking up Maty Mauk as much as anybody. If those two can develop a strong connection, any worries about the receiving corps will be alleviated to a strong degree.

  4. No idea what to make of Harold Brantley right now. He's by most accounts dropped some weight, he was at the back of the stretch lines on Saturday, he evidently might be playing some end but nobody seems to know how much ... confusing.

Post-Dispatch: Mauk grabs command of Mizzou offense
KC Star: Maty Mauk stakes claim as Missouri’s starting quarterback

"He’s definitely different than James," said senior left tackle Mitch Morse, who is moving from right to left tackle. "He doesn’t care what people think about him. He’ll say some weird stuff and he kind of gets us fired up, but he’s commanding. You might not see it, but he commands the offensive line. He says stuff with authority."

Mauk is quicker to crack a joke or say something off color — "(Former offensive lineman) Max (Copeland) is gone, so I’ve got to get these guys fired up a little bit," he said — but he’s also more likely to rip into a teammate, too.

"James was a quieter style quarterback, but Maty is more vocal," junior center Evan Boehm said. "He’s certainly not afraid to step up and say something. He gets on to us if we don’t make a block. He gets on to a wide receiver if he doesn’t make a catch. That’s something you like to see out of your quarterback. He just has a little fire underneath himself and inside himself."

This is true
Post-Dispatch: Hosick: 'I'm not like most quarterbacks'

Q: What skills do you bring to the position that the other quarterbacks maybe don't have?

A: I think part of the reason people want me to switch positions is because I play the quarterback position very fiercely. I’m very aggressive when it comes down to it. And I use my athleticism quite a bit. When it comes down to it, being a quarterback means facilitating drives, last time I checked. Moving the ball down the field. So, whether you’re running the ball or throwing the ball, as long as you’re moving down the field and scoring touchdowns, that’s being a quarterback. I feel like probably the fact the way I play quarterback — very aggressive and very fierce — that’s kind of a unique thing. So, it’s a tough thing to evaluate sometimes because you’re not used to it. It’s not something a quarterback is supposed to have.

Q: It's probably even tougher to evaluate those qualities in a controlled scrimmage, right?

A: In scrimamges it is very tough because they’ve got me in a green jersey, which means, 'Don't hit the guy.' But I’m not like most quartebacks. Sometimes I get a little excited and I want to hit somebody. And I haven’t hit somebody since I’ve been in high school. I feel like those are the things that make me different. I’m just excited to get a chance to show what it is that makes me different. I am a quarterback. But I’m a different kind of quarterback.

Breaking up is hard to do
The Trib: MU’s McGovern, Morse adjust to different spots

McGovern said he and Morse conversed in a "grunt language" before snaps. [...]

"We knew what the grunts meant, because we had heard them so much they sounded like words to us," McGovern said. "We understood it. We knew what it meant, and that it was an actual word. But I don’t think anybody else would have been able to pick up on what that word was."

McGovern said he and Hall are coming along in terms of communication. He even said he and Hall are making that connection a little quicker than he and Morse did last year because Hall is a more advanced player than McGovern was at this point last season. [...]

"I know that messed me up one time. Gatti was yelling for Mitch Morse, and I thought he was yelling for Mitch Hall," McGovern said. "That gave us some problems on Tuesday. If it gives us any more problems, we may have to come up with some nicknames."

Obviously written before the double-injury
The Trib: MU hoping Murphy, Hansbrough combine to form Josey, even more

Here's to hoping
Fox Sports MW: Pinkel's got the goods to keep Mizzou competing at the highest level

Mizzou Football 2014 Black & Gold Game Commercial - YouTube
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