Media availability shifted back over to the defensive side of the ball as fall camp continued this week, and two players were in the crosshairs: linebacker Terez Hall and newly eligible tackle Walter Palmore.
Even under ordinary circumstances, stepping in at weakside linebacker would not be an easy task.
Odom looks for a lot of things out of the position. He said it takes someone who is a good tackler, can cover the pass and possesses speed and instincts, especially because they play on the short side of the field, where a lot of action happens.
“All the action that you get into the boundary, they need to be a productive tackler,” Odom said. “And, in the pass game, most of the throws in college football for us are into the boundary side.”
But Hall has to do more than just fill the spot. He has to change positions to do so.
Hall relishes the more physical demands at his new position.
“Hey, man, you go hard or go home,” he said. “You know you’re going to have a lot of hand-to-hand (combat) because you’re dealing with a lot of O-linemen. It’s a physical battle more than anything. You have to deal with getting off the blocker and making the tackle. At the (strongside) position you have angle hits on the running backs. That’s about it.”
Our brains are unfair sometimes, but I recall more missed tackles from Hall last season than I do from other linebackers. But he was a really well-regarded recruit and athlete, and if he beats out a lot of other decent LBs (who also missed tackles, whether I remember them or not), that means he’s begun to develop nicely.
“He’s picking up the scheme quickly,” Haley said.
“He’s a great worker, and he loves to listen,” defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. said.
Palmore said he’s having no trouble learning the playbook but still needs to adjust to the different terminology the Tigers use.
"This year is only my fourth year playing real, intense football, and it's my first year playing in the (Southeastern Conference), which is a whole new meaning of intense," Palmore said. "It just shows I'm a hard worker and I'll do anything to play at the top level. I don't think only playing one year in high school has put me at a disadvantage."
His new teammates and coaches certainly don’t think so, either.
Finally, another piece on Franklin Agbasimere. I encourage all the Smash-related content possible, and MUtigers.com has some pretty good stuff.
"It was the first day we had pads on in high school, we went out there and did a couple of running back and linebacker drills," Agbasimere said. "I hit the running back so hard that the ball flew out and our defensive end came up with the name. He said 'you smashed the heck out of him', and it just stuck."
Smash redshirted his freshman year at Mizzou and was able to find success last season and contribute on special teams. Now fully healthy and adjusted to the pace of SEC play, he is ready to get after opposing quarterbacks this fall at a new position.
"I go with the coaches flow. I trust the coaches. They know better because I'm still learning," Agbasimere said. "When they see something in me that I don't see in myself, they say 'we think you'll really be good at this, go give it a try', and I just give it 100 percent."
- Wow, the fall sports season really is almost upon us. Mizzou and Oklahoma State scrimmage in soccer tomorrow.
- Mizzou Gymnastics just made a late addition to its recruiting class.