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Missouri’s football season is 5 days away, and Terry Beckner Jr. is ready

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

It’s game week. IT’S GAME WEEK. Mizzou and Missouri State kick off in about five days and six hours, which means last run of player profiles before we all fall into a game week routine.

The Post-Dispatch’s Ben Hochman takes on Terry Beckner Jr.

“When my first injury happened, I came back from the break and I didn’t have much range of motion in my knee. (Team trainer) Rex Sharp said, ‘What are you going to do? You’re falling behind.’ And I’m like, ‘Ooh — what are you going to do, Terry? Are you going to fold or step up?’ And from that day on, I attacked rehab with everything that I had.”

Twice.

The Trib’s Daniel Jones tells Jordan Harold’s “walk-on to captain” story.

“Jordan was like the afterthought, afterthought, afterthought,” said Joe Brown, who was the defensive coordinator at McCluer North at the time and is now the head coach. ... “He was so steady. You would never notice he was on the field because he would never make mistakes.”

That fearsome defensive line, which also included tackle Aramis Jones, came to be known as D-Block.

After a grueling Missouri practice Thursday, Harold still found a smile at a mention of the name.

“It’s all about being tough and being physical and playing your heart out and giving your guys your all,” Harold said. “To be a part of D-Block, you got to be tough.”

The KC Star’s Tod Palmer looks at Drew Lock’s increasingly open playbook.

Heupel tried to keep things simple last season for Lock — a 6-foot-4, 225-pound junior with an easygoing, unflappable persona.

“We didn’t have much time to dive super deep (into the playbook) and I wasn’t as intelligent of a football player that I think he wanted me to be yet,” Lock said. “We worked really hard to get there, but I needed to go through some things in this offense and learn a couple things.”

The offense was stripped to its bare bones, in part, because of an offensive line that lacked experience and depth, forcing Missouri to operate with a lot of seven-man protections.

(Palmer also turns his gaze to Eric Beisel.)

Dave Matter profiles all three of the offense’s “triplets”: Lock, Damarea Crockett, and J’Mon Moore.

“I just laugh at it now,” [Crockett] said. “It’s crazy how people will tell you what you can’t do. You have to watch that because that’ll bring some people down. I just have to stay mentally on edge and keep a strong mind.”

Cornell Ford makes sure of that. Missouri’s running backs coach constantly reminds Crockett about what he calls “the sophomore slump.”

“You have a good year as a freshman and people are blowing stuff up your you-know-what all summer,” Ford said. “Now he’s got to bring it. He’s got a target on his back now, and he’s got to be better than he was last year.”

And in probably the single best profile of the week, PowerMizzou’s Gabe Dearmond talked about receiver Dominic Collins’ last chance at glory.

“Coach (Barry) Odom lit into him before he came home, which made him sadder but made him think about a whole lot of things,” Wayne Collins said. “He told him don’t come back here unless you’ve got your head on right and really want to play football.”

And so Collins reached another crossroads. The season ended. Missouri was 4-and-8. He wasn’t good enough to get on the field for a bad team. He was on the team, but he wasn't part of the team. This is the point where many a player has cut bait and run. He could have left. He could have transferred or quit football all together. [...]

Collins did something unusual: He took responsibility. He blamed no one else. Wayne Collins praises Odom for the tough love today.

(Matter also took a look at Mizzou’s wide-ranging football freshman class.)

By the way, there have been a few game day changes to take note of this year:

Among other new initiatives being introduced this fall is the Southeastern Conference's league-wide implementation of a unified clear bag policy. Only approved clear bags will be allowed in Memorial Stadium this season, and Tiger fans can find out more information on this policy at mutigers.com/beclear.

Tiger Town will offer one of the nation's best pre-game experiences, complete with the Tailgate Concert Series. Tiger Town's location, which has moved to the east side of Memorial Stadium on Mick Deaver Memorial Drive, will feature a kids zone with inflatables and face painting, autograph sessions with various Mizzou teams and celebrities, and vendors thru Mizzou Sports Properties serving food and beer.

In addition, Tiger Town will also be the site of the new Tailgate Concert Series which will take place on the lawn in front of the Hearnes Center just to the south of Lot J.

Also, Tiger Walk has moved:

And in case you missed it, the curators, as expected, approved the south end zone project. It now has its own website and everything.


More Links:

  • I feel like I might not be making enough of this, but J’den Cox did J’den Cox things over the weekend. He blazed his way to another wrestling bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships in Paris. Ranked fifth in the world, he overcame a 6-0 deficit to win 9-6 in the round of 16, then took down Zbigniew Baranoski, 3-2, in the quarters. He lost 6-3 to Boris Makoev in the semis, then crushed former world champ Mhail Ganev, 8-0, to medal once more. He good.
  • Mizzou guard Blake Harris knew he had made the right school choice when he bumped into, of all people, athletic director Jim Sterk in a Durham (NC) mall. Odd.
  • What’s better than having one former Tiger on your defensive line? Having two. A day after he was surprisingly released by New England, Kony Ealy was evidently scooped up by the New York Jets. He’ll join Sheldon Richardson on a defense that desperately tries to prevent games from getting out of hand as the offense gets shut out every week.

Oh, and speaking of former Mizzou defensive ends ... hey there, Markus Golden.

  • Not the greatest of opening weekends for Mizzou Volleyball. Your No. 19 (for now) Tigers began the year by spotting Marshall a 2-sets-to-1 lead and a 19-10 lead in the fourth set before charging back to win. They smoked MTSU to move to 2-0 ... and then lost in five sets to both Northern Iowa and Austin Peay on Saturday. They are 1-3 in first sets this year and got smoked 25-11 by APSU in the first set. That, uh, will probably need to change soon.
  • Relatively iffy weekend for Mizzou Soccer, too. The Tigers managed a scoreless draw at Oregon State on Friday but gave up a goal in the second minute to No. 14 Nebraska, and after Mizzou put together a decent attack, NU countered its way to two goals in three minutes in the second half to put away a 3-0 win. The Fightin’ Blitzes are 2-1-1.
  • The team that had the best weekend: Mizzou Swimming & Diving. Tigers claimed four medals there.