November 4, 2008

Media Day Notes: J-MAC coming back?

On Saturday, 22 seniors play their last home game at Faurot Field. Gary Pinkel talks in glowing terms about this class, and why not? Fifteen of the 22 players who will be in uniform on Saturday have started multiple games during their time at Mizzou. That is an impressive ratio for any class.

But this senior class hasn't just played; it has played well. Better, in fact, than any class in Tiger history. With as many as five games left to go, the Tiger seniors have won 34 games, the most for any four-year group in school history.

"You think about what they've done," Pinkel said. "I've been around these kids for four straight years, some of them for five years. What they've done for us and our program, I don't think you can really put it into words."

Of course, that's a mark the seniors would love to see go by the wayside soon.

"That's one record I don't mind anybody else breaking," said linebacker Van Alexander. "Hopefully that trend continues and recruiting classes keep getting better and better and it keeps going."

The most decorated senior of the group is obviously quarterback Chase Daniel. Daniel holds nearly every passing record for the Tigers, finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting last year and has generally become the face of the Missouri program. He knows Saturday will be an emotional day.

"It's gonna be tough. Playing there for four years and seeing Missouri go up to heights that have never been reached since the 1960s and to say I've been a part of it, to say I've done so much to help with all my other teammates and the senior leadership on this year's team and last year's team, it's a special feeling," Daniel said. "After Brad Smith left, this program was being questioned very heavily. We had an okay year my sophomore year, we lost five games which is unexcusable, but that happens. To be able to play and really get my feet ingrained that year and to let Tiger fans trust me is something I cherished."

One senior is listed as "questionable" for the game. Chase Coffman has a case of turf toe. Pinkel said he could be held out of practice early on.

"We're kind of waiting that out," Pinkel said. "He's a warrior. If there's anybody who can play, he'll end up playing."

"He's a competitor, plus it's his dad's school and everything," Daniel added. "He'll play."

PowerMizzou.com will have much more on the senior class throughout the week.

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