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Old 04-10-2005, 01:17 PM  
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Good article on Tony Temple by Mike D.

COLUMBIA — Tony Temple couldn't seem to take more than two steps without paying attention to the apparent hitch in his get-a-long. He'd take a step, then stop, then shake his head.

Part of that, Temple explained as he knelt down, stretching out a hamstring, was from having squat-lifted 480 pounds earlier in the week. Part of that, Temple added, was metaphysical.

“I'm just trying to get my mind right,” Temple said.

And that — as much as 20-yard runs with option pitches, 10-yard pass receptions behind linebackers and in front of safeties — is what Temple and more than a few of his Missouri teammates were talking about Saturday following the Tigers' second major scrimmage of the spring.

“He's got a different attitude,” said Sean Coffey, Missouri's star wide receiver who is currently watching from the sidelines with a separated left shoulder. “You can see it in his face.”

Coffey and Temple have lockers next to each other, so Coffey has seen that face up close and personal.

“He's changed, even from the beginning of spring, let alone from last year until now,” Coffey said. “He has a different attitude. He has a football attitude. He gets upset when he messes up, instead of having the lackadaisical attitude that I saw before. He's come a long way in a short period of time.”

This isn't about the physical gifts that Temple has always possessed, that made him a high school superstar at Rockhurst High.

Those have always been evident, even when Temple was injured most of his senior season at Rockhurst and played only briefly before being injured again last season as a true freshman at Mizzou.

Those watching at Faurot Field on Saturday saw that in the way Temple took a pitch and rumbled the right side for 15 yards, how he powered his way in for the first touchdown of the day.

And late, there was Temple, seemingly enveloped in the arms of 245-pound defensive lineman Elgin Childress, breaking away for 25 more yards and another TD. He finished the scrimmage with 55 yards on 12 carries and two TDs.

“Temple just hits another gear,” said MU offensive linemen Tony Palmer. “Things that look like he should be tackled, he finds ways to get out of 'em.”

Sometimes, of course, Temple doesn't know when to quit. Temple had just fumbled a pitch from quarterback Brad Smith. Rather than falling on the ball, and minimizing the mistake, Temple scooped it up, retreated 15 yards, and wound up losing nearly 20.

“More times than not, he'll make a play out of it,” Smith said in Temple's defense. “He wants to make a play every time he gets his hand on it.”

And that, really, is also part of what is different about Temple, who is beginning to understand what he needs to do on, and off, the football field.

“It's a different league out here,” Temple said after his second TD run helped the offense turn around the defense's early domination.

“You can't come out here and just think you're going to make plays and all that Mickey Mouse stuff,” Temple said. “You've got to be mentally prepared every single play, every single day. It's on the field and it's off the field.

“I think I've grown up a lot. I know what I want to do and it's about getting myself right instead of trying to please everybody and make everybody else happy. It's about taking care of myself first, before I can help other people.”

Temple said he has embraced what the MU team is calling the “Model of One.”

“One play. One team. We have one mission,” Temple said. “I'm just doing whatever I can to help my team win.”

Temple definitely did his part Saturday.

But on several plays later in the scrimmage, Temple also had to be redirected by Brad Smith as to where he should be lined up for the start of a couple of plays.

And that drew a catcall from teammate — and defensive stalwart — Jason Simpson.

“Temple!” Simpson shouted. “You know what you're doing?”

Just being asked about that brought a scowl to the face of the kid who would be Missouri's star tailback next fall.

“Yes, I did hear him,” Temple said. “I hear him all the time. Simpson's always talking.''

But what Temple has shown, in the overall perception of this spring, has more than impressed others on the MU defense.

“Temple's a good back,” safety David Overstreet said. “If he gets everything going the way he wants them to go, it doesn't matter what play you're running, you're not going to be able to stop him.

“You might have him squared up, but he makes a move and you miss him.”

Overstreet doesn't mind overstating the obvious. But he, too, contends that more impressive, and important, has been the mental maturity of his always highly-hyped teammate.

“He grew up,” Overstreet put it, as bluntly as he could. “That's what it is and we're glad that he grew up.

“It makes him a better player and a person. You can see it in the locker room. You can see it out here on the field.”

To reach Mike DeArmond, Missouri reporter for The Star, call (816) 234-4353 or send e-mail to mdearmond@kcstar.com
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Old 04-10-2005, 07:23 PM   #2
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Bump for the Mizzou and Rock folk.
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Old 04-10-2005, 07:26 PM   #3
Woodrow Call Woodrow Call is offline
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Very excited about Temple. He might rewrite the record books by the time he is done a MU.

From what I have heard and read the new offense is looking good and Brad seems back on track.

I can't wait for the season to start.
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Old 04-10-2005, 08:46 PM   #4
RedDread RedDread is offline
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Temple was just amazing at RHS, Mizzou should feel fortunate that he had the problems he did that bumped him out of an elite recruiting program. He could be one of the best things to ever happen to Mizzou football.
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Old 04-10-2005, 08:49 PM   #5
Saulbadguy Saulbadguy is offline
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Stupid move blowing his redshirt, but I suppose now he will be the feature back, right?
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Old 04-10-2005, 08:58 PM   #6
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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Dont get me started...

PRIMADONNA.
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:03 PM   #7
Spicy McHaggis Spicy McHaggis is offline
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Originally Posted by ZachKC
Dont get me started...

PRIMADONNA.
I agree. Sproles is a better player without the attitude.
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:05 PM   #8
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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Originally Posted by Spicy McHaggis
I agree. Sproles is a better player without the attitude.
Played against both of them...

And you are correct sir.
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:52 PM   #9
Pitt Gorilla Pitt Gorilla is online now
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Originally Posted by Saulbadguy
Stupid move blowing his redshirt, but I suppose now he will be the feature back, right?
He'll get the year back, if need be. Medical redshirt.
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:54 PM   #10
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Old 04-11-2005, 09:57 PM   #11
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Mizzou should feel fortunate that he had the problems he did that bumped him out of an elite recruiting program. He could be one of the best things to ever happen to Mizzou football.
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