True Freshmen Step Up For Tiger Football
COLUMBIA -- It's rare a true freshman has a big impact on the Missouri football team but some fresh faces are helping the Tigers early in their college careers.
Most football recruits redshirt their first season in college. It gives them a chance to get bigger, stronger, and to learn the playbook.
But this Missouri class has some exceptions to the rule, with players who didn't waste any time making an impact on the Mizzou football program.
Your freshman year in college is about growing up, making new friends, and finding your way around campus.
"I didn't get lost around campus," freshman tailback Russell Hansbrough said.
But there's something different about this freshman football class at Mizzou.
"When we first stepped in this summer we had an instant connection as a freshman class," freshman offensive lineman Evan Boehm said.
And teammates can tell, as Elvis Fisher has seen five other freshman classes in his time as a Tiger.
"This freshman class is special. I noticed that when they came in this summer and were ready to go. We were working out and this guy's working out like he's been here a couple years. They held their own 7 on 7 sessions on Stankowski. I was amazed at how hard they wanted to work," Fisher said.
"I was snapping to Maty, Maty was throwing to Sean, to Levi, to Dorial," Boehm said.
Dorial Green-Beckham came in as the number one recruit in the nation, but he says he's not the leader.
"I actually say Evan Boehm. When we came here this summer he told us we need to have some leaders in our group," Green-Beckham said.
And the hard work has turned into playing time as Boehm started the season opener at left guard.
DGB and Hansbrough also saw plenty of action.
"When you get out there you get kinda nervous, but then you get the ball in your hand and it will all go away and then you're like now I'm ready, now I can go," Hansbrough said.
Hansbrough's first game only had one small glitch.
"I didn't really notice it until somebody told me in the 2nd quarter that you got an extra letter in your last name," Hansbrough said.
"He said they spelled my name wrong," Boehm recalled. "I said you know what I thought there was an extra letter in there somewhere."
Just part of being a freshman and learning how to make a name for yourself.
"All of our work ethic is up there at the upperclassmen's level where we need it to be," Green-Beckham said. "We look at ourselves like leaders and try to help out our class."
"I think that's what makes this class so special. We're all driven and we all have that competitive edge," Boehm added.
Evan Boehm likes to wear a t-shirt that says every true son across the front. He says there is no greater feeling than being a Missouri kid and representing your home state.
There is a fourth true freshman who might play this season. Tight end Sean Culkin broke his finger during preseason camp.