Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kirkwood Grad Finally Catches On

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kirkwood Grad Finally Catches On

Article excerpt

Kent Layman knows all about rivalries. At Kirkwood High, he played in the annual Turkey Day games against Webster Groves in the oldest prep series west of the Mississippi River. At Missouri, he has gone up against Kansas in the second-longest rivalry in Division I-A college football.

"It's kind of easy for me to slip into the rivalry thing and get all geared up," said Layman, a sophomore wide receiver. "I love both of them. And I've cried over both of them."

There were plenty of tears shed on the Tigers' side of the field Saturday after their teeth-gnashing 15-7 loss to KU. But Layman can be excused for feeling a certain amount of pride in his personal achievement. He was Mizzou's top receiver, with three catches for 44 yards. He also scampered for 21 yards on an end-around play. Those were Layman's first plus-yardage plays while wearing the MU black-and-gold. And he had to wait a long time for them. Layman arrived at Missouri after missing most of his senior season at Kirkwood with a back injury. He was switched from running back to receiver and redshirted his first year, but he shined the following spring and figured to get plenty of playing time last season. However, a shoulder injury required surgery in the summer, and he missed the first five games. He played in the last six but caught no passes. Layman put himself on the stats charts Saturday, but the bitter defeat robbed him of most of his satisfaction. "Yeah, it did," Layman said. "I'm glad I played well, but it's a loss, and nothing else matters, really." Still, he was relieved at finally contributing. "I hope that I've finally got the injury bug out of the way," he said. "I'm feeling confident for the first time this fall, knowing my routes, knowing the offense. We have three seniors and me playing wide receiver, so I'm just doing all I can this year to try to step up to the next level. …

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