clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Presser Notes: Tigers preview South Dakota and recap fall camp

Eliah Drinkwitz, Jayden Jernigan, Kris Abrams-Draine, Mekhi Miller and Armand Membou sat down with the media on Friday to preview the matchup with the Coyotes.

NCAA Football: SEC Media Day Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Drinkwitz

Has the coaching staff made a decision on which quarterback is playing first?: “Yeah, and I know what play we’re calling first, too, but I’m not gonna tell you. I want to be as forthright of information as we can, but I’m never gonna put our program in jeopardy or give away competitive advantages. So I’ve already said that multiple quarterbacks are gonna play, how we do that, and what we do there is going to be information that we give and you can either buy a ticket, see it firsthand, or catch it on the X feed, but I’m not going to preview it early for anybody.”

Will a multiple-quarterback system continue throughout the season?: “I don’t know, I went into this without pre-conceived ideas of what’s best for our team in order to win, and then I watched the Untold: Florida Gators deal and saw where they played multiple quarterbacks, and they did it in 2006, so I’m not backing myself into a corner, and I’m not going to explain myself on what the decisions are.”

What Drinkwitz wants to see from the offensive line on Thursday: “I think it always starts with establishing the line of scrimmage. You got to be able to effectively run the ball on first down. You got to be able to get half of a bat if you take a shot on first down, and you got to protect the quarterback.”

More on the offensive line: “I think I can say this without reservation that the offensive line is the most improved unit in our football program. I think what Coach Jones has done has been remarkable, his ability to connect with our players and have those guys play for each other is in a way that I haven’t seen.”

On Theo Wease Jr: “I’m very appreciative of Theo’s contributions. I think his leadership abilities have been exactly what we needed, specifically in that wide receiver room. I think his experience not only with being a great player in his previous place but also a great player in high school and understanding the process of what you got to do to work in handling adversity, I think it has been exactly what that room needed. I think it needed a strong voice that could show everybody else in the room this is what it takes to be an elite player.”

How Drinkwitz’s game day is gonna change without calling plays: “I don’t think it’ll be any different that it was the last three or four games. I’m more involved in special teams than I’ve ever been so I’m excited about that aspect of it, but still involved in the day-to-day operations of the offense and defense.”

On the punting battle: “We went outside yesterday, and one guy separated himself. We’re gonna go through it again on Sunday, and really that’s gonna be the last opportunity to identify who the starter is.”

Other Notes

  • Chad Bailey recently underwent a procedure and will be out for 21 days. Dameon Wilson and Chuck Hicks have filled in. Bailey and Issac Thompson will be the only two players unavailable for week one against South Dakota.

Jayden Jernigan | Senior | Defensive Tackle

  • On playing against a different opponent on Thursday: “We’re ready for somebody else. We’ve been hitting every single day of fall camp, and now it’s time to see how much better we got.”
  • On the line of trash talking during camp amongst teammates: “I don’t know if there really is a line. Sometimes it goes too far and we just have to break it up and just get back to practice.”
  • On what he has accomplished in fall camp: “I really just wanted to work on my quickness and my ability to shed off blocks.”
  • On working within such a deep defensive tackle room (Realus George, Kristian Williams, Josh Landry): “It’s been great, because just like last season, we are all from four different places. We just keep gaining knowledge from each other, and now we have four solid guys that can go out there and not much changes.”
  • On what is different about the O-line this year: “They’ve got the mentality. It’s just a different thing that they do. They haven’t changed scheme or anything, they just know that every time they are out there, it’s a battle, and they have to win it.”
  • On playing alongside teammates from Allen High School (Theo Wease, Devyn Butler, EJ Ndoma-Ogar): “It’s just fun. Our dads are the ones that are really having fun, being up in the stands and going crazy. It’s truly family. Texas is the best state for high school football, although it is an argument.”

Mekhi Miller | Sophomore | Wide Receiver

  • On what he’s seen from Theo Wease: “He’s come in and been a leader for our group, leading by example. Kind of like Tauskie Dove for me last year, you can ask him [Theo] any questions and he’ll have an answer.”
  • On playing with two quarterbacks in a game: “Whoever is out there, we trust them to do the right thing. As receivers and quarterbacks, you build that trust in practice by throwing balls with every single one of them.”
  • On what he has seen from the freshmen WRs (Josh Manning, Daniel Blood, Nicholas Deloach): “I’ve been proud. Not often do you see freshmen receivers come into the SEC and go in there and make plays. They’ve come in with a confidence to make plays, and that’s why they are trusted.
  • On what he told those freshmen WRs after his experience as a freshman last year: “Don’t be scared. Sometimes, as a freshman, you’re just afraid that if you make a mistake, you’re done. If you go out there with the feeling of ‘it’s okay to make a mistake,’ you’re going to be good cause you can learn from that.”

Kris Abrams-Draine | Junior | Cornerback

  • On what will lead to creating more turnovers: “There is always one point in a game where someone can make a play, so we just need to capitalize on opportunities.”
  • On the improvements he has seen from Marcus Clarke: “He was more mature this year than last year. He was more locked in, and we could tell.”

Armand Membou | Sophomore | Offensive Lineman

  • On new offensive line coach Brandon Jones: “I think he’s just really improved our mentalities up front and getting us to play harder. He’s made a bigger emphasis to finish blocks.”
  • On rotating between guard and tackle in fall camp: “It’s kind of funny, because last time I met with you guys I was at guard, and then that day they told me I’m going back to tackle. It wasn’t too bad going back outside, I’m a bit more comfortable at right tackle but I like guard a lot too.”
  • On the biggest things he learned from year one at Mizzou: “My knowledge of the game has expanded a lot, and I recognize some things on the field because I saw them last year.
  • On what he wants to see from the line on Thursday: “I just want to see us dominate. We have a mentality that it doesn’t matter if we play an elementary school or if we play the band, everyone gonna get it.”
  • On rebounding from last season’s struggles: “People don’t really think highly of us. We definitely have a lot to prove, so we are really going to come for it this year.”