Guess who's back
After missing the entirety of the 2015 football season, Harold Brantley is back on the field. How awesome is it to read that?
Barry Odom: DT Harold Brantley got some work in practice today, sounded very pleased to see that this soon— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) March 9, 2016
Barry Odom sounded thrilled when asked about Brantley. This, from Dave Matter, gives me a big ol' case of the smiles.
"Brantley got some work today, which was awesome to see just from a personal standpoint from where he was last June or July, whenever that was," Odom said. "There were questions whether or not he was going to get out of the hospital. To see the progress that’s he made with Rex Sharp and (surgeon) Pat Smith, I’m proud of the kid and I’m proud of what our training staff and medical staff have done for him."
On the inside of the defensive line, Terry Beckner Jr. is still working his way back from an ACL injury. Again, from Matter:
Beckner and [Tavon] Ross "are going to be very limited," Odom said. "I don’t want a guy out here coming off that injury that’s not ready to go. That’s going to be Rex’s call. … Those two guys need to get all the mental reps they can and be good learners in the classroom. Then we’ve got to do a great job when they’re ready."
Practice? We're talking 'bout practice?
Yes. We are.
More on Day one of Spring Practice in an hour from Oscar Gambler who was in attendance yesterday.
How about that offense?
Nowhere to go but up, right?
Heupel and Ford have promised more north-and-south running, and if returning leading rusher Ish Witter can’t provide it, they’ll find running backs who can.
Missouri adds graduate transfer Chris Black from Alabama to a wide receiver group that returns almost everyone but failed to develop a breakout player last year. Drew Lock enters his second year starting with the clear message that he’s playing for his job, as well.
Speaking of Lock...
Two years ago Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel visited Lee’s Summit, Mo., to check on rising quarterback prospect Drew Lock.
The Sooners didn’t plan to take a quarterback in the 2015 recruiting class, but Heupel was smitten.
"We talked every week," Lock said.
Instead, Lock committed to Missouri in April 2014, before the end of his junior year. Heupel didn’t give up. Later that year, Oklahoma finally offered a scholarship. Soon, though, the Sooners fired Heupel. Lock stuck with his pledge to Mizzou.
Maybe they were meant for each other after all. In December, just as Lock recovered from a trying eight-week stretch as the Southeastern Conference’s human piñata, new Missouri coach Barry Odom hired Heupel to run his offense and coach the quarterbacks.
Cue the Peaches & Herb.
"Reunited and it feels so good …"
Give that article a read. Drew is bigger, badder, and more confident than ever heading into an open quarterback competition this spring. It might be time for his career to take off, folks.
College Football's Top DEs Entering 2016 Spring Practice
2. Charles Harris, Missouri
Harris had seven sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss in 2015, both team highs, as the Tigers ranked sixth nationally in total defense and fifth in scoring. It was his first season as a starter, helping to replace the departed Markus Golden and Shane Ray as well as injured defensive tackle Harold Brantley.
Chase Daniel – Los Angeles Signing Daniel would eliminate the Rams’ need at the most important position on the field. And frankly, we don’t know a ton about Daniel, who has only attempted 77 passes in his six NFL regular seasons. Kansas City coach Andy Reid has an excellent reputation of grooming backup quarterbacks for starting roles. At his best, Daniel, who will turn 30 during the 2016 regular season, is an efficient chain-mover. He would be a clear upgrade over what the Rams were playing with last year. Los Angeles might be best served adding a free agent like Daniel as well as a premium draft pick to finally fix this position.
A combine invite for Hansbrough seemed like a definite possibility after a junior season in which he ran for 1,084 yards, averaged 5.3 yards per carry and scored 10 touchdowns. But an ankle injury on the first carry of the season last fall derailed his senior season. Hansbrough missed only one game but never regained the form he showed as a junior, struggling to 436 yards, 3.9 yards a carry and one touchdown. He says he’s back to 100 percent now. He’s at the Athletic Performance Lab in Katy, Texas, training with Texas wideout Marcus Johnson, California tight end Stephen Anderson and defensive end Ben Goodman from Kansas.
Gant goes to the doctor
Missouri sophomore forward Jakeenan Gant had surgery Monday to repair a shoulder injury Coach Kim Anderson said he battled throughout the season.
"He had some degeneration in his shoulder, and Dr. Pat Smith went in this morning bright and early — Jakeenan told me he had to be over there at like 5:30, so I know that’s bright and early for Jakeenan — and had some surgery done, and he’s resting well," Anderson said Monday on Tiger Talk. "We went to see him this morning, and he was resting real well."
Anderson said Gant faces six to eight weeks of rehabilitation.
Get well soon, Jakeenan.
Kevin gets recognized for a stellar Puryear
Puryear put together a standout debut season for the Tigers, compiling 355 points (11.5 average) to rank sixth on Mizzou's all-time freshman scoring chart.
Puryear posted double-figure point totals in 21-of-31 games, starting all of Mizzou's contests during his initial collegiate campaign. The Blue Springs South product averaged 11.2 points per game in SEC action, posting two of his three 20-point games in league play.
I will apologize for nothing.