Tigers' Madison Turning Heads with Hands
COLUMBIA, MO -- Brad Madison won't soon be confused with any members of the Missouri Tigers secondary. However, thus far in spring practice, the junior defensive end has certainly proven capable of snagging any football that enters his vicinity.
In the last two practices prior to the team's week-long break, Madison intercepted three passes - one on each of the Tigers top three quarterbacks - and even returned one of them for a touchdown in a scrimmage.
Madison attributes his improved all-around play to increased experience.
"I'm a lot more confident I think after playing a whole season getting regular playing time I know what to expect," he said. "The game slows down a lot for you so that's one thing that's helped me a lot."
While his newfound ballhawking skills may be somewhat of a surprise, Madison is no longer under the radar. In his sopomore season, Madison finished second team All-Big 12 as a back up, an impressive feat given the talent level of a Tigers defensive line that featured projected NFL first-round draft pick Aldon Smith and fellow imposing end Jacquies Smith.
Head coach Gary Pinkel is one to appreciate the value of his rising junior and is quick to credit his intelligence.
"He's a smart dude, too," he said. "So, we're not only dealing with a good football player, an all-conference football player who has got a great motor... that's why he's a great player. He's also really smart. So, offense has really got to figure some things out when he's in there. He's had three interceptions in two practices."
Madison will look to continue his impressive play when the Tigers return to practice on Tuesday.