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Per teammates, Missouri's Ish Witter is "a different dude than he was last year"

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Here are today's Mizzou Links.

Mizzou Tigers pennant What's On

Barry Odom talks about the spring game.

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The Trib (Blake Toppmeyer): MU notes: Odom not ready to name QB starter, Walters talks promotion, etc.

Ryan Walters confirmed that he fielded "a couple offers" during the offseason to become a defensive coordinator elsewhere. Walters stood pat and is readying for his second season as MU’s safeties coach. Additionally, Odom made Walters MU’s co-defensive coordinator in February. Walters also saw a $100,000 pay raise from last year to this year. "For one, I wanted to stay, and with the" new job "title, that made it an easier decision," the 30-year-old Walters said. Before coming to MU, Walters bounced around a lot. He was at Arizona from 2010-11, at Oklahoma in 2012, at North Texas in 2013 and at Memphis with Odom in 2014.

Post-Dispatch: Tigers prep for spring finale

Would Odom be open to playing multiple quarterbacks this year? Unlike Gary Pinkel, he’s not fundamentally opposed to the idea. "If a guy can help us at any position win and they’re ready and responsible and they’re playing consistently, then absolutely," he said. "We’re going to play guys at different positions. (Linebacker) Donavin Newsom last year, for example, really played about four spots throughout the course of the year. That’s what we have to do. That’s where we’re at. There’s a lot of people around the country able to do it. We’ve got to be creative enough schematically and good enough teachers that we put our guys in position to have success."

KC Star: MU safety Anthony Sherrils has unlimited ambition for 2016

"Anthony is starting to home in on the details" of the safety position, said Tigers co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Ryan Walters. "He still has a long way to go in that aspect, but he’s so athletic. He makes up for a lot of mistakes early on. I’m just trying to get him to maximize his athletic nature, so he’s making more plays. He’s making plays, but he could be making a lot more. I’ve just got to get him consistent."

PowerMizzou: Spring football update: 4/12

Cornell Ford said he stays in close contact with JUCO running back signee Natereace Strong. Asked if it's still looking like Strong will enroll late in the summer, Ford said, "We don't know. We'll see. We take it quarter or semester by semester, and we're hoping that things are done by the end of this semester. If they're not, then we've got a couple weeks in the summer time where we can try to make some progress. But right now, we're hoping for this spring, early June."

PowerMizzou: Spring Q&A: Johnathon Johnson Spring Focus: Paul Adams Plays Through the Whistle

The backfield

Post-Dispatch: New faces emerge in Mizzou's revamped running game

"Ish Witter is a different dude than he was last year," center Alec Abeln said. "He’s running through a lot more stuff and running with a different tone than he did last year."

"He’s made a big jump," Ford said. "Different player. He’s committed himself to being in better shape. His body fat percentage is down. He’s a little quicker. His pad level is where it needs to be. When you looked at him last year I thought he was on the ground a lot. You don’t see him on the ground as much this spring."

The Missourian: Missouri football's 'goon squad' of running backs looks to leave its mark

"They've come a long way," said Ford, who enters his first season as running backs coach after coaching cornerbacks at Missouri from 2004-2015. "We still have a long way to go. I think our toughness is better, we're thinking more on our feet and we're running the ball more north and south, which is our style of play."

A portion of Missouri's struggles in the running game last season can be attributed to the offensive line, which struggled to created open lanes. This spring, the two positions share a similar problem: a lack of bodies. There are just eight offensive lineman participating in spring practice. Senior center Alec Abeln is the only one of the group who has started in a game.


Springfield News-Leader: Central football coach, former Mizzou player, hired away by another school

Mizzou Tigers pennant A desperately needed confidence builder (in theory) #18 @MizzouSoftball Closes Homestand with Wichita State

Mizzou Tigers pennant This was not a confidence builder @MizzouBaseball Falls at No. 16 Missouri State

The Missourian: Missouri baseball loses big at No. 15 Missouri State

Mizzou Tigers pennant Cross one name off the list

The Trib (Steve Walentik): MU recruiting target Jackson chooses Ohio State

Meanwhile, in the world of texting 17-year olds...

...the NCAA proposed ditching the limitation on texting recruits.

Jackson Clarion-Ledger: The pros and cons on texting between recruits, coaches

Mizzou Tigers pennant Well I would hope so... Cox Named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week

Mizzou Tigers pennant If you want to hear Godfrey and me complaining about the new Georgia FOIA law...'s your lucky day!

(Background here and here.)