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2014 Missouri fall camp: Day 3 practice reports

The Marcus Murphy-to-slot experiment continues, Missouri's linebackers are athletic, and defensive tackle Matt Hoch is just about back to full speed.

In which David Morrison is tweeting at a championship level...


MUTIGERS.COM: Football Training Camp Report - Day Three

Redshirt sophomore QB Maty Mauk was dialed in during 11-on-11 situational sets, withstanding the pressure of Mizzou's experienced defensive line...

Mauk moved his side up the field during one series with an impressive sequence, first hitting senior WR Jimmie Hunt on a deep down-and-out. Mauk then connected with junior TB Russell Hansbrough on a flair route before going back to Hunt on the same pattern as his previous catch, which followed an incompletion...

The incompletion came with its own case of theatrics as Mauk expertly eluded pressure from senior DL Matt Hoch and senior DL Lucas Vincent before lofting the ball out of bounds...

Mauk followed that up with a screen pass to senior WR Darius White for a first down...

Running Backs

Offensive Line

Defensive Line

(Been there, man.)

The Missourian: Shane Ray busts a move at fall football camp

"Everybody. Yeah, yeah. Rock your body. Yeah, yeah."

And there was Ray, in the middle of the pack of linemen, his hands over his head, rocking his hips with the smoothness of a professional Hula-Hoop-er.

Ray's teammates backed him up on the vocals as the prolific pass rusher gyrated to and fro.

It's a safe bet that opposing quarterbacks would rather meet Ray on the dance floor as opposed to the backfield, where in 2013 — with limited playing time — the defensive end racked up 4.5 sacks, nine tackles for a loss and 11 quarterback pressures. And though the Tigers star looks at home on the field, he hinted that he's less comfortable on the dance floor. But fear not: Ray said he and the D-line might show off some more dance moves at Thursday's practice.

Post-Dispatch: Mizzou Camp Report Day 3

I had my first chance to visit with redshirt freshman defensive end Charles Harris and came away very impressed. Thoughtful, candid and incredibly motivated to become the next star defensive end for the Tigers. Harris, who didn’t have a recruiting profile on the four major recruiting sites when he signed with Missouri in 2012, has put on roughly 30-35 pounds since he came to MU. The lean 6-3 edge rusher cuts a similar figure to former Mizzou stars Aldon Smith and Kony Ealy. That’s no exaggeration.

Harris’ teammates have raved about his energy and work ethic, especially Hoch.

"He’s a monster. He’s got one of the best motors I’ve ever seen," Hoch said. "His work ethic is legit. It’s the best work ethic I’ve seen in … a long time. He’s always asking me, ‘Hey, Hoch, what can I do to get better? How do I need use my hands for this move? What do I need to do?’ … He’s always asking me to help in some way because he knows he’s going to have to contribute this year, because we need him at defensive end. He’s going to be a heck of a player."


The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Missouri Fall Camp Notes: The "Hubris of Hoch" edition

Pinkel repeated a refrain from spring that, while young, this linebacking group could be the most athletic he's been around. And he can't seem to stop bringing up Sean Weatherspoon when he talks about starting strongside backer Donavin Newsom: "He's a really high-level athlete. He's got size and is very talented. Players that play at a high level, they don't ever think on the field. It's all reacting. Donavin's kind of in that category. He's figuring that out right now...He did get some playing time last year, similar to Spoon. I'm comparing him to Spoon athletically. I think that's probably fair. But Spoon was an all-conference player his sophomore year. It can be done, but we'll see where it goes." [...]

He's coming off labrum surgery in the spring, but says he's not feeling any ill effects. And Newsom doesn't mind shouldering some of those Weatherspoon comparisons: "It makes me feel good about myself, like I'm actually doing what they're asking me to do this year."

The Missourian: Ball drills allow Missouri football's defense to show off hands in practice

"We're a bunch of athletic guys that whenever the ball comes at us we're going to catch it," linebacker Kentrell Brothers said of the unit.

For Brothers, ball drills reinforce a natural strength. Starting his first season for Missouri at outside linebacker this past year, Brothers tied for the second-most interceptions on the team, with three.

It's what happened after an interception at Vanderbilt, though, that still causes Brothers grief.

Brothers was lined up in zone coverage. He read Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels' eyes and stepped up in front of the intended receiver and made off with the ball. He returned the ball 15 yards before being tripped by Joe Townsend, Vanderbilt's 312-pound offensive lineman.

Brothers said his family, friends and teammates still make fun of him for getting tackled by a slow offensive lineman.

"I hear it every time," Brothers said.


PowerMizzou: Camp Notebook: 8/6

Senior safety Braylon Webb went a little more specific about what the secondary aims for each season.

"We try to keep the passing average to, I want to say, 5.5 (yards per attempt)," Webb said. "As a defense as a whole, we want to keep the run game under 3.3 (yards per carry) and we want to force two turnovers a game."

A year ago, Missouri had two games where it held the opposing team to under 5.5 yards-per-attempt, and three others where it held opponents to under six yards per attempt. For the season, teams averaged 6.5 yards-per-attempt against the Tigers. Despite ranking last in passing yards surrendered per game, Missouri ranked third in the SEC in yards-per-attempt.


PowerMizzou: Practice Close-Up
PowerMizzou: Sights & Sounds: Day 3

Mizzou Network: FALL CAMP: Pinkel's Post Practice Report 8.6.14