Missouri freshman cornerback Logan Cheadle runs a blistering 4.4-second 40-yard dash, but he doesn’t believe he truly unleashed that speed during his time at Lee’s Summit West.
Cheadle said that changed after he graduated early and joined the Tigers in time for spring football.
“In high school, I played slower than I actually am,” Cheadle said. “I played down to the competition maybe, but coming into college and playing the higher-level competition really brought out my speed on the field. I’m playing at my speed now, and that’s revealing a lot more things. I’m playing with more confidence when you’d think I’d be a lot more scared.”
Cheadle started the spring fourth on the depth chart behind sophomore John Gibson, but Cheadle played significant minutes with starters and reserves during the spring scrimmages.
“(Cornerbacks) coach (Cornell) Ford was very generous with the playing time he gave me throughout the scrimmages and he gave me every opportunity to prove myself,” Cheadle said. “I was surprised with myself with how well spring ball went.”
Of course, that wasn’t the only spring surprise for Cheadle, who received a warmer welcome than he anticipated from the veteran players in his position group.
“It was strange to me how well they wanted me to do,” Cheadle said of his fellow cornerbacks, including the presumptive starters, Gibson and Aarion Penton. “You would think people in your position group might not want you to do well, so they can do better and they want to start, but the guys in our room really push each other and help each other and want the best out of each other. I love that.”
Still, that camaraderie isn’t Cheadle’s favorite part of the college football experience so far.
“The biggest thing is the coaching thing I’m getting a Mizzou,” he said.
Ironically, it was coaching that kept Cheadle from committing to Missouri sooner.
He was recruited by the Tigers’ associate head coach/quarterbacks coach Andy Hill, but he didn’t get to know Ford until later in the process.
“Does coach Hill want me here or does coach Ford?” Cheadle asked the Missouri staff before committing.
“One thing that held me back during the recruiting process was the lack of a relationship with my position coach,” Cheadle said. “I didn’t know coach Ford that well. I’d only met him a couple times, but I wanted to know that my position coach wanted me down here.”
Once Hill connected Cheadle and Ford, Cheadle’s choice to committ was an easy one.
“After that, it really opened up conversations with coach Ford,” Cheadle said. “I started building a relationship with him, and it was evident to me that, yeah, he really wanted me down there.
“It was huge for me to be close with my position coach, because that’s who you spend the most time with. After I built that relationship with coach Ford, it became a no-brainer to go to Mizzou.”
With one semester under his belt, Cheadle, who has yet to pick a major, is thrilled with the decision.
“If I would have known some of the coaching that I have now, in high school, nobody would have ever caught a pass on me,” Cheadle said. “So, spring ball went great and getting down there early was definitely a good idea, getting these things under my belt. I’m really excited to see what I can do in the fall camp.”
Cheadle said he needed to add roughly 10 pounds during the summer to have a shot at playing as a true freshman.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do and a lot of weight to put on, but I want it to come slowly and I want to put it on the right way. If they decide I’m not physically ready to play in the SEC this year, then that’s fine and I’ll take my year off. But I’m going to do everything I can.”