Q: I know you’ve heard of Dorial Green-Beckham. Expectations are high. But what kind of impact can a true freshman receiver have in the SEC?
A: “I would have said it would have been really hard, but we’ve had two guys that fit his profile and stature in A.J. Green and Julio Jones who both had a tremendous amount of success as young players. He can come in and have success in an offense that spreads it around. On tape, he didn’t play against elite competition, but coming into the SEC with his frame and size, he’s going to have to learn quickly how to beat press coverage. People will be in his face. Ultimately, it will come down to how quick he can pick up the playbook and get off jams.”
Q: David, is all the talk about Missouri's need to adjust to the physicality of the SEC being overstated?
A: “No, it’s not being overstated and they’ll figure that out once they get in SEC play. It’s a difference. When you’re a Big 12 team and you’ve been playing against spread offenses, naturally your defense will be smaller to catch small guys. In the SEC, it’s big-boy football.”Q: What are your thoughts on Missouri’s offense?
A: “Their offense is fun to watch… I just think one of Gary Pinkel’s strengths is being able to adapt and adjust to what he has. You’ve got Brad Smith from several years ago, who was ridiculous, running a lot more than a guy like Chase Daniel, (who) comes in and still has a ton of success. With James Franklin, the quarterback power run game is something that you can implement, something that Tim Tebow had a lot of success with at Florida. I have more questions about Missouri’s defense than I do their offense.”
Q: How hard will it be for Missouri to recruit the South?
A: “It’s hard for a lot of teams in the country to do that. Alabama is a machine right now. LSU is a machine. Florida, Georgia, Texas, you have all these schools that have such great resources right in their backyard, it makes it easy for them to continue to stockpile five-star recruits. Missouri high school football isn’t obviously at the same level, and so it makes a difference, but if they can come in and win games and expand their brand.
"I mean, they (Missouri) are putting guys in the league. Aldon Smith had a great year last year. Ziggy Hood was a top pick a couple years ago. They’ve had some defensive linemen that have had success. When I was being recruited, that’s something you always pointed to – guys that played my position that are in the NFL. Like, show me the money. I’m a high school kid, I have aspirations about playing at the next level, and I want to know, can you get me there? I think that’s something they (Missouri) have got to continue to preach.”
Q: Why is defensive line play so much better in the South?
A: “First off, when you look at the top defensive line recruits in the country, where do they come from? They come from the south. And one of the factors of where you go to school is close to home, where your parents and friends can see you. You grow up close to a university that you repped as a kid and always loved, so that’s part of it. If you also look at the schools down south, there are big brands and guys like (Nick) Saban who were NFL coaches and put you in the league and schools with a lot of tradition, so there’s a lot of things that go into it.
“Think about it man…when I was getting recruited out of high school, I flew up to Ohio State – I’d never been on a plane my entire life – and it’s like November, December, and there was a foot of snow on the ground. I’m like ‘There ain’t no way in heck I’m coming here dude, it’s freezing.’ I had never seen snow in my life, being from Georgia. And so the weather has a lot to do with it too, because I was like ‘No way in heck, man.’”
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor