Only two true freshmen on the offensive line have ever earned a letter duringGary Pinkel
’s 11-year tenure as Missouri’s head coach, but it appears Lee’s Summit West graduateEvan Boehm
has a good chance to be the third.
Boehm, who was listed as a four-star recruit by Rivals, was the only true freshman to earn extensive playing time with the first team during today's practice, Missouri’s firstin full pads
Now, a big part of that certainly had to do with the injury to projected starter Travis Ruth, a senior who left practice with his arm in a sling due to a triceps injury.
But make no mistake about it, Pinkel appears to be plenty high on the 6-foot-3, 290-pound true freshman, who chose Missouri over a host of programs, including Arkansas, Auburn, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
“He’s a big, strong athlete, a very bright guy who is very competitive and fits right in well,” Pinkel said. “One guy’s frustration and disappointment is another guy’s opportunity, and that’s good because football teams have to (have) that"
The last true freshman offensive lineman to earn a letter for Missouri was current seniorJack Meiners
, who played as a freshman in 2009. The first wasDan Hoch
, currently a rookie with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Offensive line is probably the most difficult position to play as a true freshman, just because of the physical size and strength that you have to have…and there’s so few players that have that right then and there,” Pinkel said. “The good news is physically, he’s ready to play.”
Pinkel said the staff had an inkling Boehm could play early while they were recruiting him during his outstanding prep career at Lee’s Summit West, where he played for his father, head coachRoyce Boehm
, and led the Titans to the Missouri Class 5 state championship as a junior. He won the Simone Award as a senior, which is handed out annually to the top football player in the Kansas City area.
Missouri has already secured a commitment from another Lee’s Summit West player, four-star senior linebackerNick Ramirez
, and is currently recruiting three-star senior defensive linemanJamone Boyd
.Day 5 observations
Freshman cornerbackJohn Gibson
made a standout play this morning when he leaped high to pick off freshman quarterbackMaty Mauk
in the corner of the end zone. Mauk was attempting to throw a fade to freshman receiverDorial Green-Beckham
, who is at least seven inches taller than Gibson…freshman tight endSean Culkin
also got some work with the first team at this morning’s practice, while freshman tight endBrandon Holifield
did some work with the second team and also made a highlight-reel catch at one point, catching a ball over the middle from Mauk and outracing a few players to the end zone...Pinkel yelled at his team during conditioning, and later told the media that he “was a little concerned about his players' focus today.Injury report
Defensive endBrad Madison
donned a red non-contact jersey today after suffering a rib injury. Running backRussell Hansbrough
(ankle), receiverT.J. Moe
(hamstring), defensive tackleLucas Vincent
(pectoral), running backHenry Josey
(knee) and offensive tackleJustin Britt
(foot) were also held out of contact drills.Worth noting
Redshirt sophomore offensive tackleChris Freeman
has decided to leave the program, team spokesman Chad Moller said. Freeman, who is listed at 6-foot-8, 320 pounds on the roster, was working as a backup right tackle in camp, behind redshirt freshmanTaylor Chappell
Freeman, a Trotwood, Ohio, native who joined the Tigers in 2010 after sitting out a year due to an NCAA clearinghouse issue, was listed as a three-star prospect by Rivals out of high school in 2009. He selected Missouri over Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee and UCLA, and played in three games last season.
*Former safetyKenji Jackson
is now on staff as a video graduate assistant, Moller said.
*Pinkel said he is still waiting on freshman linebackerTorey Boozer
and junior college linebackerMarkus Golden
to be cleared by the NCAA. He offered no timetable on when a decision will be made.To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send e-mail to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.