Posted: 6:16 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
By Bill C.
As you may have noticed, it's been a solid few days for commitments. You had Ish Witter on Thursday night and Namon Wright on Saturday. Now add Jhonathon Williams to that list. A lanky (6'6, 230) defensive end from Berrien Springs, MI (which is basically just on the other side of the Michigan border from South Bend), Williams is exactly the kind of raw athlete Mizzou tends to aim for: fast, loaded with potential, and under the radar a bit (other offers: Ball State, Bowling Green, San Diego State, Toledo). He's another low-three-star get for the Tigers, No. 24 for the class of 2014. With early enrollees and the like, this class could extend to about 28-29 guys, but two more spots just got filled over the weekend. The bus is just about full.
Williams said he was mostly focused on getting to the next level in basketball until this summer. Now, he's going to be a Division-I football player.
"My first camp was at Michigan State," Williams said. "And after that, all this just kind of started blowing up for me."
Williams says pass rushing is his strong suit. He's at about 230 pounds now and wants to be around 240 when he gets to campus. He runs in the 4.5-second range in the 40-yard dash now, and he wants to be down in the 4.4s by the time he dons a Missouri uniform.
Williams is the second defensive end commit for the Tigers' Class of 2014, along with Rocel McWilliams from West Florida Tech in Pensacola, Fla.
[H]ere’s something I’ve noticed about this team, and it came to light Saturday. They appear to enjoy playing with each other. When things go bad, like they did for much of the first three quarters Saturday, you don’t sense much bickering or finger-pointing or panic. That hasn’t always been the case at Mizzou — and certainly wasn’t the case at times last season. On some level, it’s a chicken-or-the-egg dynamic. Is chemistry good because they’re winning? Or are they winning because chemistry is good? Who knows, but these two postgame comments, sparked by different questions to different players, caught my attention.
First, defensive end Kony Ealy: "We don’t argue. We don’t fight amongst each other. It’s come a long way from last year. Us getting it together and getting on each other to make sure we give each other positive encouragement … that’s what we’ve been doing. That’s what we need."
"You seen what happened last year," he continued. "I don’t have to remind you. Some games, we just weren’t’ really together. We had a whole lot of potential on that team. But we weren’t together. This team, this year, a lot of seniors are stepping up. Juniors. Sophomores. You see people like Shane Ray, Harold Brantely, Mike Sam, Marvin Foster. Everybody’s stepping up and doing their job and actually (playing) a role for us and playing a role for our team in general."
And Dave Matter's still giving the Tigers a vote
Post-Dispatch: Dave Matter's Week 5 AP ballot
We Are Mizzou: Mizzou Spirit Spotlight
Mizzou Network: Post Game Report: Gary Pinkel Arkansas State Post-Game Interview
Mizzou Network: Post Game Report: DGB hauls in 2 TDs in win vs Arkansas State
Mizzou Network: Post Game: Extra Mizzou defeats Arkansas State
Mizzou 1, No. 7 Florida 0
MUtigers.com: Soccer Knocks Off No. 7 Florida, 1-0
The Trib: Missouri soccer stuns No. 7 Florida
The Maneater: Tigers upset No. 7 Florida
Mizzou Network: Highlight Reel: Soccer Upsets #7 Florida, 1-0
* How does Earleywine feel about this 2013-14 team? His first sentence when asked: "Potentially, we could be very good." The coach said fans should expect a lot of new faces in the lineup. None of the true freshmen, he said, have played themselves out of winning a starting role. Pitcher/hitter Casey Stangel seems to have a hold on the right field spot. Natalie Fleming is competing at third and Kelli Schkade at second (only one of those two will start... we'll get to that later). Kirsten Mack is set to be the starting catcher. As we reported in our story that's linked above, Mack tore her labrum but is expected back in October. […]
* Sami Fagan: No questions here - we'll make this quick. Fagan, the former Florida star, will be the starting shortstop, Earleywine said. Why? "She's just filthy. She made some great plays defensively. Has a big arm. I don't see why she wouldn't be able to be our shortstop for the next three years," he said. "She's going to be a kid to hit in the top of the lineup and play shortstop. That really changes the face of us."
Do read the entire softball piece from Dellenger here. I love the detail Earleywine shares in these interviews.
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Golf Celebrates Walsworth Family Golf Center Opening
The Missourian; Missouri golf teams open new clubhouse with 'bells and whistles'
Mizzou Network: Walsworth Family Golf Center Grand Opening
MUtigers.com: Tigers Dominate South Carolina to Move to 16-0
The Trib: Record-setting run continues for Tigers
The Maneater: Tigers spear Gamecocks in SEC opener
The Missourian: Missouri volleyball's 'eighth man' supports winning team
The Maneater: 'Little spark plugs’ charge undefeated Tigers
Mizzou Network: Highlights: Mizzou Sweeps SEC Opener
I mean ... at some point people will start taking Mizzou Volleyball, right? I realize the competition hasn't been amazing, but they're smoking teams. They've dropped two sets all season, and they're dominating in most offensive categories. I feel like I'm disrespecting them because I haven't written a post about how awesome they are yet.
Oh well, I guess. Keep winning, and eventually people will be forced to notice.
Since I've already stuck about 20 YouTube videos in here, I don't want to take up any more space, so we'll engage today's Music Monday in comments. Mizzou's heading to Nashville on Saturday ... what are your all-time favorite albums/songs recorded in Nashville?