Columbia — It wasn't quite like the now-viral scene that played out at Vanderbilt earlier this month, when Commodores coach James Franklin awarded hard-working walk-on Mark Panu a full scholarship in front of the entire team. But Missouri's football team experienced a heart-warming moment of its own this weekend when coach Gary Pinkel awarded redshirt junior walk-on Max Copeland a full scholarship.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
Copeland, a native of Billings, Mt., who passed up other opportunities to walk-on at Mizzou, admits he almost driven to tears after his meeting with Pinkel. It was a long time coming for a spirited player who killed himself in the weight room and will almost certainly see the field at guard for the Tigers this season. I'll have more on Copeland's rise from walk-on to potential starter in Thursday's Star.
*Tuesday marked Missouri's first practice in three days, and players wore helmets, shoulder pads and pants.
"We had class for the first time (today), but I thought it was pretty focused," Pinkel said of practice. "Generally it takes a little while to get going."
Missouri opens its season in less than two weeks, with a Sept. 1 home date against Southeastern Louisiana.
"Tomorrow, it's ten days until kickoff," Pinkel said. "So we're winding down."
*It took almost three weeks, but freshman linebacker Torey Boozer, Jr., is finally in Columbia and fully qualified. He participated in his first practice as a Missouri Tiger on Tuesday, wearing No. 11.
*The Sean Taylor Memorial Hit of the Day Award goes to burly fullback Jared McGriff-Culver, who caught a swing pass in the left flat, eluded a defender and bowled over safety Cortland Browning on his way to the end zone. It's hard to explain, but what McGriff-Culver did looked something like this. To be fair to Browning, however, he did not get hurdled.
Coming in a close second was a walk-on wearing No. 46 - I do not know who he is - who absolutely leveled backup running back Tyler Hunt on a swing pass. It looked something like this.
Second-team receiver Wes Leftwich walked off the field during the middle of practice. I suspect we'll get an update on his health Wednesday,
*A few players that had previously been limited in drills shed their red non-contact jerseys and participated fully in practice. Among them are receiver T.J. Moe, who had been dealing with a hamstring injury but looked quick and smooth during the session.
"He finally got out of that red," Pinkel said. "So players were on him hard."
*The following players are still wearing red jerseys: DT Evan Winston, DT Matt Hoch, CB Kip Edwards, LB Will Ebner, TE Sean Culkin, WR Jimmie Hunt, WR L'Damian Washington, DT Lucas Vincent. Running back Greg White shed his red jersey and participated fully.
Missouri announced a four-pack ticket special for its Sept. 1 home game against Southeastern Louisiana. The package includes four tickets for $100, a total savings of $96.
The package goes on sale at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Fans can purchase the package by going on mutigers.com or by phone at 1-800-CAT-PAWS. There are approximately 1,500 tickets available for the game.