Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gung-Ho Tigers Get Ready to Hit after an Early Blast from Bed at `Camp Smith'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gung-Ho Tigers Get Ready to Hit after an Early Blast from Bed at `Camp Smith'

Article excerpt

At 6:15 a.m. Monday, the Missouri Tigers were given a rude awakening from the merriment of their arrival here Sunday for a week of training. In each hallway of the barracks they occupy at Wentworth Military Academy, shrill airhorns blared as alarm clocks. Alas, there were no snooze buttons.

"Oh, my God. I didn't know where I was," sophomore tailback Greg Smith said. "They'll probably start playing `Taps' tomorrow morning."

Despite the unexpected, uncomfortable wake-up - "I just heard it and thought, `I guess that's for me. It's about that time,' " senior tailback Joe Freeman said - players were gung-ho during their first day of practice here.

"We've gotten off to a good start; I think the kids can grasp why we're here," coach Larry Smith said.

They'll have a lot better idea after today, when contact drills begin. Several freshmen were said to be queasy over the thought.

"We're not trying to haze the freshmen," Smith said, smiling, " but we've got to get that recruiting stuff out of their heads."

Today and Wednesday probably will feature the heaviest hitting of the fall camp, but it will be tempered.

"I think it's got to be controlled," Smith said. "You can't go out and wipe yourself out the first day."

Omni-present: Many players skidded and tumbled on the wet grass, which seemed more slick than even the absurd Faurot Field Omniturf.

"There's a lot more dew on the grass here than there is in Columbia," Smith said.

Although Smith and his staff have been pleased with the facilities, there is some concern about the proximity of the stands to the field. One player, linebacker Will Markel, narrowly averted running into the bleachers by running up several stairs.

"We were joking and saying it's our version of arena football," Smith said. "Between the 30s, you're bouncing off the walls."

MU equipment personnel may try to secure padding to the front of the bleachers. …

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