COTTON BOWL NOTES

Missouri players deny receiving NFL Combine invites

Updated: 2014-01-02T05:13:15Z

By TOD PALMER

The Kansas City Star

Several Tigers dismiss NFL Combine reports

A report is circulating that several Missouri players have been invited to the NFL Combine, but that’s news to the individual Tigers. Wide receiver L’Damian Washington, offensive tackle Justin Britt and cornerback E.J. Gaines all said they haven’t received a formal invitation.

“I haven’t heard a thing,” Washington said. “I certainly don’t have anything in writing.”

Gaines said he’s been repeatedly congratulated but doesn’t know how to respond.

“People keep congratulating me, but I don’t know what they’re congratulating me on,” Gaines said. “I haven’t gotten anything yet. I haven’t heard anything yet.”

Britt was similarly mum.

“I’ll say I’m going when I get that (official invite),” said Britt, who indicated that he didn’t expect to hear anything until after the Cotton Bowl anyway.

Defensive end Michael Sam and wide receiver Marcus Lucas also were reportedly invited.

• Missouri has made 38 sacks this season, an average of 2.92 per game, which is tied for 10th in the nation. But Oklahoma State ranks No. 10 in fewest sacks allowed, surrendering only 11.

Something has to give.

“Their pass rush is going to be as good as we’ve seen, probably the best we’ve seen,” Cowboys quarterback Clint Chelf said. “Their schemes are sound. They’re well-coached. There’s obviously some good defenses in the Big 12, but as far as strictly rushing the passer this is the best we’ve faced.”

• Oklahoma State senior right guard Parker Graham is from Webb City, Mo., and rooted for Missouri men’s basketball.

“Whenever Kareem Rush was there, that was my team,” Graham said.

Graham considered attending Missouri coming out of high school, but he dropped off Missouri’s radar when his lead recruiter, Dave Christensen, left for Wyoming.

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

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