Quarterback Eddie Printz Jr. verbally commits to Missouri

According to Rivals.com, quarterback Eddie Printz Jr., not to be confused with actor Freddie Prinze Jr., has verbally committed to Missouri.

The 6-foot-4, 212 pound senior at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga. is listed as a three-star prospect on Rivals.com.

Printz originally committed to UCLA in January, but found out in September that his scholarship offer from the school had been withdrawn.

Printz visited Missouri on Friday, and was officially recruited by Missouri offensive coordinator David Yost. Now Yost has to worry about facing the defense of the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

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SEC teleconference: notable quotes

Going into Saturday’s Missouri-Alabama game, both Gary Pinkel and Nick Saban addressed their own teams and their opponents Wednesday during the weekly SEC teleconference. While a lot of what’s said is forgettable, there were a few highlights from each coach.

Missouri coachGary Pinkel, on how Alabama compares to the elite teams Missouri has played in the past:

  • “It’s a great team. I’ve seen all the SEC teams – I’ve studied them, and I’ve seen a couple national championship teams in the Big 12. Texas and Oklahoma we played, and they’re really high-level teams. (Alabama is) one of the best personnel teams we’ve ever seen.”

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, on Coach Don James, who both Pinkel and Saban played under at Kent State:

  • “The Don James program that I played in at Kent State, he picked that up and brought that to Seattle, WA. I took it from Seattle, WA, and brought it to Toledo, Ohio…and then we brought it here to Columbia, MO. I’m a disciple of Don James, probably even more so than Nick (Saban).”

Alabama coach Nick Saban, on the challenges Missouri presents:

  • “Missouri is certainly a very challenging team to prepare for. They do a great job defensively, with the pressures and stunt. Offensively, they’re one of the most different teams we play against as far as their style of offense. This is a very well-coached team, and it’s going to be a challenging game for us in the SEC on the road.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban, on the parity in college football:

  • “You can look at the unpredictability of college football on a week-to-week basis, and sort of make the players be aware – and I think they are – that if they don’t play their best football anybody is capable of beating you on any day.”
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Pinkel responds to Finebaum saying Franklin ‘better man up’

“I don’t know James Franklin, but with all due respect to him, he better man up, or he’s going to get laughed out of the SEC.”

That’s what Paul Finebaum, a radio host known as “The Voice of the SEC,” said Thursday about the Missouri quarterback choosing to sit out with an inflamed bursa last week.

Finebaum was doing an interview with Tim McKernan on KFNS’s ITD Morning After radio show.

McKernan played the audio for Gary Pinkel and then asked for the Missouri coach’s response to that comment.

“I don’t have any. I have none,” Pinkel laughed. “I don’t care what he says.”

Despite saying he had no response, Pinkel continued to respond.

“I have none. It’s not worth a response,” Pinkel said, even interrupting McKernan’s attempt to ask another quesion.

Then McKernan brought up Pinkel’s statement from Missouri’s media day on Monday, where Pinkel said, “Anybody that questions James Franklin’s toughness, they have to have been in a coma for the last two years.”

McKernan asked Pinkel to elaborate on the statement. And he did.

“True. Well, look how he played last year. He’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever been around in my life. And no one has ever questioned his toughness,” Pinkel said.

This is where it gets good.

“So, that dude (Finebaum) must have been in a coma. I don’t even know who you’re talking about,” Pinkel said. “I don’t know who he is. So, it doesn’t matter to me.”

Pinkel has even been a guest on Finebaum’s show before, so it is unlikely that he doesn’t know who Finebaum is.

Finebaum then tweeted, “That didn’t take long! New SEC member already ticked off. Pinkel declares war on Finebaum. Audio forthcoming. Join us at 2:05 ct on SXM Ch91.”

The tweet promoting The Paul Finebaum show has since been deleted. On the show, Finebaum referred to Pinkel as his “good friend.”

“This dude has never been in a coma Coach Pinkel, but I appreciate the kind words anyway,” Finebaum said. “I have nothing against Gary Pinkel. I’m not going to turn this into a name-calling contest. I respect him.”

It seemed like Finebaum was quickly putting an end to the ‘war.’ Then he opened fire again.

“I think he’s done a reasonably good job at Missouri, although he took the gas pipe a little bit in the second half of the Georgia game,” Finebaum said. “He’s the one who started this fire. He’s the one where the story emanated from when he first questioned James Franklin.”

Finebaum was referring to Pinkel’s postgame comments after Missouri’s win over Arizona State. Pinkel’s words were not exactly an endorsement of his quarterback.

“It was just too painful for him, and he didn’t want to play,” Pinkel said.

Pinkel did leave reporters questioning Franklin’s toughness, but he has since endorsed the junior quarterback repeatedly. But it didn’t stop a dude he allegedly doesn’t know from taking shots at Franklin.

We will see if Pinkel has any more to say about this matter. It probably won’t come before Missouri plays at South Carolina at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS, but it sounds like Finebaum expects the war to continue.

“Maybe. Maybe, Pinkel can show an ounce of personality in this response the second time around.” Finebaum said. “Anyway, Gary Pinkel, welcome to the SEC pal, where no one is ever in a coma on Saturday.”

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Depth chart notes: Week 4

Following a 24-20 home win over Arizona State, Missouri is preparing to travel to South Carolina for its first SEC road game. A few players will be returning to action or playing in new roles, as we discovered when Missouri’s depth chart was released on Monday. The notable changes are as follows:

  • The offensive line continues to shuffle and reshuffle, as senior Jack Meiners returns to a starting role this week and will play right tackle. After practicing in fall camp at right guard, he missed the first two games with a sprained knee. Meiners played limited reps last week at right guard, but will move to right tackle this week. Mitch Morse, who started the season at center before moving to right tackle during the Georgia game, will move back to center.
  • Zaviar Gooden, a senior weakside linebacker who had 14 tackles and an interception through the first two games, is listed as a starter this week after missing the Arizona State game with a hamstring injury. Gooden is also a team captain.
  • Quarterback James Franklin, who missed the Arizona State game with an inflamed bursa sac in his right shoulder, is listed as the starter and does not appear on the injury report. Corbin Berkstresser, who rushed for a touchdown in Saturday’s win, is listed as the backup. When asked Monday, on a scale from 1-10, how likely it is he’ll play on Saturday, Franklin rated his confidence level a “9.”
  • Despite going only 1 for 4 in field goals Saturday, redshirt freshman kicker Andrew Baggett is still listed as the team’s starting placekicker. Trey Barrow, the team’s punter, was the field goal kicker for Missouri’s final six games of the 2011 season.

In other news, Kenronte Walker, a redshirt senior safety, was named SEC defensive player of the week Monday after his crucial interception in the closing seconds of Missouri’s 24-20 win.

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Game notes: Missouri 24, Arizona State 20

Looking back on Missouri’s second win of the season, we can assume that a lot of the fine details will be overlooked. This could forever go down as the “Corbin Berkstresser surprise start” game. The other players, scores and missed extra points may fall through the cracks.

To ensure that doesn’t happen, here’s a few stray game notes from Missouri’s nonconference victory.

  • Memorial Stadium was sold out for the second straight game Saturday night, with 71,004 fans packing the stadium to watch Missouri jump to 2-1 on the season. Somewhat surprisingly, it was the first time Memorial Stadium was sold out for a nonconference game since Missouri hosted Notre Dame in 1984. For all of you who either don’t remember or weren’t born yet at the time (myself included), the Fighting Irish walked out of Memorial Stadium with a victory in that one, 16-14.
  • Redshirt freshman placekicker Andrew Baggett missed three field goals Saturday night, going 1 for 4 on the night. He’s now only 3 for 7 on the season. While Baggett certainly was underwhelming in fall camp and hasn’t done much to change that perception thus far, his lack of success Saturday night wasn’t all his fault.

At least three of long snapper Mitch Hall’s snaps were low, with at least one   skipping in to holder T.J. Moe. Moe also had trouble fielding and positioning the football,  a point coach Gary Pinkel noted in the post game press conference.

“When T.J. is fumbling the ball around, all your timing is off,” Pinkel said. “It’s like hitting a golf ball and you have to pause halfway down and start over again.” Pinkel also said that the kicking game will be reevaluated throughout next week.

  • Missouri’s offensive line escaped the Arizona State game without any major injuries, a small victory for a group that has been bitten by the injury bug throughout fall camp and the first two weeks of the season. Still, this is an incredibly young and inexperienced group, with two freshmen (Evan Boehm and Brad McNulty) and a former walk (Max Copeland) on making up three of the five starters.

“When you’ve got a redshirt freshman quarterback, a redshirt freshman center and a freshman out of high school left guard and a walk-on right guard and a redshirt sophomore at right tackle that had never played before, it ain’t going to look pretty all the time,” Pinkel said.

Senior right guard Jack Meiners, who missed the first two games with a sprained left knee, did play limited minutes Saturday night. His role should continue to expand as he gets healthier.

  • While freshman wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham only had one catch Saturday for two yards, it was clear that Missouri’s coaching staff was working to get the ball in the highly recruited receiver’s hands.

Green-Beckham ran the ball four times on jet sweeps, a play where he would line up as a receiver before sprinting in motion towards the quarterback and taking the hand off. While he only gained 19 yards on the carries, it appears that offensive coordinator David Yost is focused on getting Green-Beckham more involved in the offense than he was in Missouri’s loss to Georgia.

  • Linebacker Andrew Wilson and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson led the Missouri defense, with both claiming nine total tackles apiece. Defensive end Michael Sam was also busy, picking up 1.5 of Missouri’s three sacks in the win.
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Expressive Alden on sideline

He watched quarterback James Franklin heave the Hail Mary pass. He watched the ball soar through the air. He watched the ball slip through Marcus Lucas’ hands. His reaction…priceless.

See the passion of Mike Alden, MU athletics director, on the sideline of Missouris first SEC game in this screen grab:

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Memorial Stadium expansion: separating fact from fiction

Recently, the website mizzou2sec.com released a series of designs rendered by an Alabama fan, Matt Hardiman, showing off his vision for the future expansion of Missouri’s Memorial Stadium. In the note by Hardiman at the top of the page, he explains that he has no affiliation with the school, saying, “I really don’t have any connection to Missouri (other than my grandfather and a friend)… I just love designing stadiums and being able to see my thoughts and ideas come alive on screen.”

I have seen a number of Missouri students link to these designs over social media sites, believing that they are the actual designs for the future expansion. While the note at the top of the page explains that they are purely the renderings of an unaffiliated fan, many did not notice that detail.

The actual plans for Memorial Stadium’s expansion are far more modest than Hardiman’s drawings. The school plans to only add a total of about 6,000 seats to the 71,000-seat stadium. Hardiman’s drawings, in comparison, brought in the possibility of Memorial Stadium eventually housing over 100,000 fans.

More than anything, this confusion highlights the importance of always reading the fine print.

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Missouri depth chart notes

Missouri’s depth chart was released for this weekend’s SEC opener against Georgia on Monday, and there was very little moving and shaking of the ranks. However, there were a few notable moves that could affect Saturday’s game.

  • Senior right guard Jack Meiners is listed as questionable with a left knee sprain. Meiners, who started seven games at guard in 2011, was injured during Missouri’s final scrimmage and missed last weekend’s win over Southeastern Louisiana. If Meiners were able to return, he would most likely replace Max Copeland, who performed very well in his place.
  • Middle linebacker Will Ebner is listed as questionable after suffering a neck stinger during Saturday’s game. While his status is in doubt on paper, Ebner told the Missourian that he will be ready to play on Saturday.
  • Senior cornerback Kip Edwards is now fully healthy and listed as the starter at cronerback, opposite E.J. Gaines. Edwards played a reserve role last week, hampered by a nagging knee injury. Randy Ponder got the start in his place.
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Sheldon Richardson earns “vacation” from media day

After Missouri beat Southeastern Louisiana 62-10 Saturday, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson told reporters he turned off the Georgia-Buffalo game because “It’s like watching Big Ten football. It’s old-man football.”

Richardson then went on to say, “If we execute, nobody in this league can touch us. Period.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s UGA Sports blog ran a story about Richardson’s comments, prompting plenty of interesting comments from readers, many of whom are SEC fans.

Richardson was not available at Missouri’s media day Monday. According to the Associated Press, team spokesman Chad Moller said Richardson “earned himself a vacation” with the comments about the Tiger’s next opponent.

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Missouri football players debate about who caught biggest fish

Missouri linebacker Donovan Bonner said he had never gone fishing until this summer when he went with teammates. A long list of Tigers players have been out at nearby fishing spots frequently over the summer.

Bonner, who is from Dallas, says he wasn’t much into fishing at first but has learned to like it. Just not all of it.

“I can catch the fish, but I don’t know how to take ‘em off the hook. So I’m pretty scared of that,” Bonner said.

Still, Bonner claims to have caught the biggest fish of anyone on the team this summer — a seven-pound bass.

“He was afraid to even touch it is what I hear. He’s scared ’cause he didn’t have any gloves on,” left tackle Elvis Fisher said.

Fisher loves to fish, which is no surprise, given his last name. The left tackle from St. Petersburg, Fla., says he couldn’t really fish as much in his home state, where serious fishermen need expensive boats. He really got into it when he came to Missouri, where ponds offer convenient spots to fish.

But Fisher disputes Bonner’s claim of having the biggest catch of the summer.

According to Fisher, Bonner had claimed he hooked an eight-pound bass. Fisher, determined to beat it, went out and caught a seven-pound bass. Fisher says the owner of the property where they fished then told him his fish was bigger than Bonner’s.

With more than 20 Missouri football players said to have gone fishing this summer, we will probably never know who really caught the biggest fish. We can’t even verify Fisher’s claim about the property owner who ranked his fish No. 1.

“I can’t tell you where that place is because that’s my honey hole,” Fisher said.

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