Columbia...These are interviews with key Missouri starters, players from St. Louis and incoming freshmen.
Jack Meiners, starting tackle from Chaminade
Patch: Are you ready for the season.
Jack Meiners: Absolutely. We are working very hard to make it happen. We practice then we spend the rest of the day in the film room watching games.
Patch: How is the transition going from the Big 12 to the SEC.
Meiners: I don’t think its too bad. There’s just a different style offensively and defensively. There are great teams in the Big 12 and there are great teams in the SEC so we will just have to see. We will have to compete every Saturday and play our “A” game.
Patch: Teams like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and Nebraska and Texas are hardly second rate.
Meiners: Right, exactly. They are great teams and there are great teams in the SEC as well.
Patch: Thrilled to see (tackle) Elvis Fisher back.
Meiners: Absolutely. He’s a great tackle on the left side of our offensive line and great to have him back this year. (Fischer got a sixth year of eligibility with a season ending knee injury last year.
Patch: So how well will Mizzou fit into the SEC.
Meiners: We are definitely coming in bold. Our offensive style is very unique to the conference and we play very fast, very high tempo. We will see how those SEC defensives hold up against our high tempo offense.
Sheldon Richardson, senior nose tackle, Gateway Tech
Patch: Do you think you will be getting a shot at the National Football League.
Sheldon Richardson: I hope so but that’s in the future. We’re worrying about the season ahead right now.
Patch: You’ve been on a long journey. First a trip to junior college in California before getting here.
Richardson: I am glad to be here. This is a humbling experience and I’m just preparing for a chance at the NFL. Right now we’d just like to go get a championship.
Patch: How deep do you think the Tigers will be going into the SEC season.
Richardson: We have more depth than people believe we have, so we will just leave it at that.
Patch: For a team to be successful, you need some mean, nasty guys on the defensive line.
Richardson: Oh yea. We have a depth of guys to go chase down quarterbacks. We will rotations just like we always do and just keep playing good Tiger defense.
Anthony Gatti, projected two-deep tackle, Parkway North
Patch: So far that line has put in a lot of hard work.
Anthony Gatti: Yes we have. We go out there and grind it together as a team. We are looking for progress out there every day.
Patch: Parkway North had a really good team but out here, this is just a different world.
Gatti: There is a big difference from high school to college. Here at Mizzou we have a fast paced offense, different stances and you just have to adapt and to learn.
Patch: Ever think you’d be in a program with some 40 coaches out there.
Gatti: They make sure you get things done. Its fun to be out there with the guys and learn together. Good playing alongside a guy like Elvis Fisher. He’s got perfect technique and its good to be behind him learning.
Donavin Newsome, freshman linebacker, Parkway North
Patch: Any pressure for a newcomer with this scrimmages coming up.
Donavin Newsome: I don’t feel any pressure out there.
Patch: What’s it like to be new to the Tigers program.
Newsome. It feels good to be part of a winning tradition. We’ve got a very good team and we hope to show everyone.
T.J. Moe, senior wide receiver, Fort Zumwalt West
Patch: This is your senior year and looks like the year you will really shine.
Moe: We have a tough task ahead of us and we’ll just take them one game at a time.
Patch: The Georgia game (September 8) will be a national game.
Moe: Its on ESPN2, we’re really excited about it.
Patch: Going into the SEC really seemed to fire up the student body.
Moe: Everyone was really excited. I think its good for the program to jump up and everyone considers this conference the best in the country and I’m excited to be part of it.
Patch: Will the passing scheme mean the balls will be coming more your way this season.
Moe: Well I hope so. We have a really good receiving corp this year. Hopefully I get to do some punt returns and kick off returns.
Patch: Will Mizzou show some new offensive wrinkles this season.
Moe: We’ve shown new wrinkles the past three years so expect more of the same.
Patch: You know all too well how tough the Big 12 was.
Moe: We played a couple of No. 1 teams. Texas won the national championship my freshman year. Oklahoma was No. 1 when we beat them here. We’ve played seven ranked teams last year.
Patch: When a kid is coming out of high school, foremost what should he expect.
Moe: You should pick a school that’s a winner but you ought to pick a school that suits your skills the best. You have to go where you like the coaches and picture yourself where you think you will be successful. The coaching staff has been very stable (more than 10 years) and they preach to us “we’re not going anywhere.”
Mizzou was a really good fit for me.
Patch: And at Mizzou, they let quarterbacks play receiver.
Moe: They do.
Michael Scherer: incoming linebacker, MICDS
Patch: It has been noted that your position coach (Dave Steckel) has really been riding you.
Michael Scherer: Yes, but that’s a good thing. That way you get better every way and I’m doing everything I can to understand things. He really seems to care about all of us.
Patch: So where are you getting help.
Scherer: Andrew Wilson and Will Ebner are my big brothers and they’ve helped me out a lot but all the linebackers, the whole team have helped me out. It is a big family here. Nothing really changes from what you heard as a recruit and what it really like here.
Patch: What’s the difference between the ABC League and the Southeast Conference.
Scherer: There’s a lot. The speed, the size, everything. I went back to practice at MICDS a couple of weeks ago when I was off. There’s a lot of differences.
Patch: How do speed levels compare.
Scherer: We worked on speed all summer. All winter, all spring, I didn’t do anything else. You get used to it after a while. You get used to reading the offense and that first quick step is so important. You have to know where you are going and how you are going to react.
Patch: Those George Dawgs will be here Sept 8.
Scherer: “yea, that will be a fun day, that will be good, one of those things that will be monumental for the school and the stadium, the first SEC game ever and a game I will remember forever.
Maty Mauck, new quarterback, Kenton, Ohio
Patch: What’s the main thing a quarterback learns when they first get to Mizzou.
Mauck: There's just so much to learn. We are really getting into the playbook. James Franklin (starting quarterback) is my big brother and we go over everything after practice every night.
Patch: Going into the SEC, you have a very fine freshman class coming in.
Mauck: All of us coming together and pulling together is just an honor and a privilege.
Patch: Missouri is starting to recruit nation wide.
Mauck: Getting Dorial (Green-Beckman) was huge. We have players coming from everywhere.