Ohhhhh, Markus Golden.
Arizona's Markus Golden leads all rookie edge rushers with 45 total pressures coming into the week— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 21, 2015
Markus Golden also tied for lead among all edge rushers in last year's draft class w/ 61 pressures https://t.co/WfJnC82SFu— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 21, 2015
Markus Golden. Got it— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) December 21, 2015
So hey, NFL scouts who doubted Markus Golden. How you feeling about that now? #Mizzou— Matt Michaels (@KTGRMatt) December 21, 2015
The staff is coming together
Ford has been on Missouri’s staff since Pinkel arrived in 2001, and Hill has been with the team since 1996. That’s provided some consistency for Missouri’s coaching staff, which hasn’t had to worry about recruiting dropping off in the state’s largest metropolitan areas.
Instead, Ford and Hill have kept Missouri’s ability to keep in-state recruits at home stronger than ever. In the past few years alone, the two biggest cities have produced Missouri standouts such as Shane Ray, Markus Golden, Evan Boehm, Charles Harris, Terry Beckner Jr., Aarion Penton, Marcus Lucas, Sheldon Richardson, Michael Scherer and Drew Lock.
"The problem before wasn’t that Missouri wasn’t talented, it was just that Mizzou wasn’t doing things right in recruiting," [SLUH head coach Gary] Kornfeld said. "Now that that’s changed, you’ve seen the program start to improve more."
"Mizzou has already established a good reputation on defense, so all I’m looking to do is come in and put my own twist to it and try to make it even better. My players will know that a sense of urgency, attention to detail, and playing with enthusiasm and energy are the things that are most important to me. I think people enjoy watching a defense that plays that way."
Cross and Odom were teammates for the 1996 season when Odom was a freshman linebacker. Cross stayed at MU for two years as a graduate assistant, working with the outside linebackers in 1999. Since then, he’s been an assistant at Sam Houston State (2000), Iowa State (2001-05), Kansas (2012) and TCU (2013-15). Cross spent five seasons (2006-10) with the Buffalo Bills as a defensive assistant and special teams coach. He came to TCU in 2013 as linebackers coach and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator for the 2015 season.
Hard to ignore the Texas ties
The Trib: Odom makes Texas a priority for MU recruiting
The time couldn’t be much better for out-of-state schools to get in on Texas’ rich talent pool. While Baylor and TCU are on upswings, traditional power Texas is in a swoon and Texas A&M is stagnating after the Johnny Manziel heights of 2012.
Only seven of Rivals.com’s top 20 Texas prospects for next year’s class are committed to in-state schools: three to Baylor, two to Texas A&M and one each to Houston and Texas. The other nine committed prospects in the top 20 are headed to LSU (three), Mississippi, Stanford, Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma and Oregon State.
"The Lone Star State is more open than it’s ever been in the last decade, maybe the last 15 years," Crabtree said. "You can get into the Lone Star State and get some good players away. I really anticipate a lot of SEC teams and Missouri to continue to have success down there."
(It's nice when David Morrison attacks a topic in a completely different way and comes to basically the same conclusion. Solid affirmation.)
Missouri: Promoted defensive coordinator Barry Odom. Mizzou had a down year in 2015, but in general there's good reason to try to preserve some continuity from Gary Pinkel's wildly successful 15-year run. Odom, 39, a former Tigers linebacker, spent 10 seasons on Pinkel's staff and is widely revered in Columbia. He'll need some veteran assistants on which to lean, but otherwise it appears he's ready to run the show. Grade: B+