With fall camp kicking off, here’s some of the important quotes and takeaways from Day 1.
Eliah Drinkwitz | Head Coach
- “Today was really kind of the floor of who we can become. This first part of training camp is all about someone stepping up in these battles.” Goes on to reference the quarterback, center, corner, linebacker, and punter position battles
- Buffalo transfer center Bence Polgar has been ruled ineligible due to an NCAA ruling stemming from his time with the Bulls. Polgar is participating in camp but can not play in games. The ruling was appealed by Mizzou but denied.
- “We had guys missing the end of the practice with cramps, last year we might have had to slow things down. Now we can just have the next man-up instead of pulling back. We have great depth on this team.” Went on to list the many players returning that understand the expectations and increased talent level
- Connor Tollison, Drake Heismeyer, and Richard Taylor are competing at center.
- “There are no bad teams, just bad leaders. We have to have guys that take ownership of both the good and bad.”
- “As a play caller, I kinda got into a bunker mentality to outlast the other team last season. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.”
- “The more you see Dom Lovett in the slot…The more I love it! I didn’t do a good enough job getting those guys more opportunities last year.” The beginning of the quote was the start of a question posed by a reporter, Drinkwitz just finished it for him
- “Ennis Rakestraw is full-go, no restrictions. It’s all about having confidence with it for him.”
- “It felt good, to be able to get a sweat and have my voice be hoarse, yelling at Sean Koetting for punting too far in a warm up drill (laughing). That’s the best part of college football is being out there.” On how nice it is to be back focusing on just the game itself
- “Everybody chose to be here. My first two years, there were guys I didn’t recruit, some that might’ve didn’t want to be here. I feel most comfortable with this team being in front of them.”
- “He’s gonna have to pick up the speed of the game and the X and Os, but he has all the tools.” On freshman quarterback Sam Horn
- “I’ve been practicing some of my dad jokes most of this summer. Sometimes they’re good but a bit questionable.”
- “We’ll vote for captains at the middle of toughness week (roughly August 16th).”
- “Mookie (Cooper) had one of the best summers of everybody; he was owning it this year. He’s mentally in the right space and being consistent.”
- Drinkwitz is paying particular attention to the punters, as guys need to be more consistent.
- Freshman Ja’Marion Wayne is starting camp testing out defensive back. He was a high school wide receiver.
Chance Luper | Wide Receiver | Senior
- “At the end of the day, it’s just football. Some things may be faster, but it’s the same sport you were playing at high school.” On what he hopes to teach the newcomers in the WR room
- WRs are now with the ‘Nasty Wide Outs’ mantra. A “fraternity” made popular by Ole Miss when AJ Brown and DK Metcalf were in Oxford.
Chad Bailey | Linebacker | Senior
- “He’s been leading even when he’s on the sideline.” Talking about Martez Manuel’s role this offseason while he was injured.
- “Sometimes you feel like you’ll never play again, that you’re forgotten about. So I tried to give him as much motivation as possible.” Discussing Ennis Rakestraw’s journey back from a torn ACL, noting how Bailey tore his own during his freshman year
- “With Blaze leaving, we have to have someone that can get everyone lined up and correct people.” On what the linebacker group has to find without the former rice transfer back there
- “Film study is the best way to get better.”
- “Tackling was a minor issue for us last year, so we’re really focusing on that.” On being able to go live more in camp
- “We’re gonna stop the run and we’re gonna stop the pass.” When asked about new DC Blake Baker’s scheme, Bailey thought about it then gave this response with a good laugh. Tigers have had some good media training.
side note: Kris Abrams-Draine, Chance Luper, Luther Burden, Dominic Lovett, and Dreyden Norwood made up the group fielding punts. There’s your options for 2022.