I wouldn't put them into the same discussion mostly because they're very different players and play in a very different style of offense. Scales and Okwuegbunam line up in a three-point stance and have to block defensive ends and linebackers. Coffman and Rucker never had to do that. They never had to line up in the backfield and play fullback like the current TEs are required. At the same time, the current guys won't have the targets to catch nearly as many passes as Rucker and Coffman did during their careers. They were tall slot receivers, not really tight ends. The current guys can have great careers, but they will be different careers from the two All-Big 12 guys from the Pinkel years.
Norm is not involved. I think he came to one game this year. He spends most of his winter time in Palm Springs. He keeps a very low profile around Mizzou. He does a lot of world traveling with his wife. He did talk to Martin on the phone shortly after Martin got the job and wished him well and offered to help with anything he can do.
I would have thought Micah Wilson, but Jack Lowary looked pretty good in the spring game. That's just 1/15th of what the coaches will grade in terms of spring practices. Could be a wide open competition in August.
If Missouri puts up big numbers and wins say, eight or nine games, then I think he'll get some head-coaching looks - or maybe some coordinator offers at major programs that can pay seven figures for a play-caller.
I wouldn't say it stinks, but there aren't any proven impact players - unless you count Eric Beisel, who's only started about half a season. Beisel and Hall are the two starting inside linebackers. In a 4-3 or 4-2-5, Kaleb Prewett emerged as the other starter, either as the SAM linebacker or nickelback. Prewett had an impressive spring game. He can play close to the line and defend the run or blitz and back off in coverage in the slot. TJ Warren is another option at that position. Backing up the two inside guys you've got Cale Garrett, Brandon Lee and Joey Burkett - experienced but not guys who have been All-SEC players by any means.
Wins over FCS teams count toward bowl eligibility. There used to be a rule that you could only count an FCS win once every four years, but they dropped that rule once 12-game schedules became the norm.
Right now, Missouri's roster - with additions of Porter, Harris and Roberts - should have Mizzou in the top half of the SEC and competing for an NCAA at-large spot. As Michael Porter Sr. said last week, this team is going to have some young players - but also some established veterans in Phillips, Puryear, Barnett, etc. If MU adds Knox and/or Tilmon, you crank up the expectations another tier - top three or four of the SEC and possibly a top-four seed in an NCAA bracket.
He admits he made some rookie mistakes last year. I'm sure any first-year coach makes mistakes that they wouldn't make as a more experienced HC. Has he learned from those mistakes and miscalculations? We'll find out this fall. Odom has said the biggest difference between a year ago and now is his comfort level with his staff and players. He believes he has a better feel for both. I've never been a head coach, but I would think you're in position to make better decisions when you have a better understanding of your staff and players.
Yes, Triumph Books is publishing the book. The book is in the editing/designing stage now and should be on bookshelves in late August.
It was a really challenging process, mostly because we got a later-than-ideal start. We began negotiations with publishers early in the fall and then started the interview/writing process later in the fall. Gary and I met at least once a week for a couple hours for about three months. We talked about specific parts of his life and career in each meeting. I'd find time late at night or early in the morning a couple days a week - when I wasn't doing my day job or dad job - and work on the GP book. Also idle time during road trips for MU football and hoops games were valuable hours to write. I also interviewed other important people in his life to help with context and details. I went over our interviews/discussions and did further research then wrote each chapter in his voice. Then Gary read and edited each chapter. I would revise and tinker and, eventually, we had a manuscript of about 90,000 words.
Haven't gotten any updates on football, but hoops season ticket sales were up about 1,500 after the first couple weeks of the coaching change.
Odom said there were no significant injuries. Tre Williams (93) talked to reporters after the game and seemed fine.
You proved my point. Texas, LSU and Cal have had multiple McDonald's All-Americans on their roster the last couple years - and didn't make the NCAA Tournament.
Missouri isn't moving to a 3-4. If it were, it just wasted 15 spring practices playing a 4-3. Like the last two years, they'll have a three-down linemen package, but it won't be the base package. My guess is they only see a few guys on the current D-tackle depth that are ready to play this year, hence the juco additions. More of the high school guys are probably slotted for redshirt seasons. It's not a bad problem to have. It's better than last year's situation when MU had to essentially play Logan and Hatley every snap down the stretch.
Yes, I'd be happy to. He hasn't granted a lot of media access and MU is generally against allowing 1-on-1 interview requests with the major players.
That said, I spent some time with Robin Pingeton for an upcoming story about her program. It goes without saying she's excited about the future. She's got a top 20, maybe top 15 team next season.
Media weren't allowed to watch the real scrimmages, just the Black and Gold Game. Lowary had the better numbers, showed a great deep ball on a couple long TDs. But who knows, maybe Wilson was much better in the other scrimmages. I would expect the competition to continue in August.
Should be huge, unless football has fallen off the map already at that point, which I don't necessarily expect.
Okwuegbunam, Okwuegbunam. Okwuegbunam. I have much more trouble with Johnathon Johnson. Between MU hoops and football they've had at least three different players with that first name who's spelled it differently. MU's official student directory spells it Johnathan and MU athletics spells it Johnathon. I'm still not convinced who's right.