Former Tiger Helps Land Egnew At Mizzou
COLUMBIA - Egnew had the Mizzou spirit drilled into him long before he arrived on the Tiger football field.
The town of Plainview, Texas is located in the panhandle. About 25,000 people call it home and one of them found a new home at Mizzou.
Michael Egnew found his way to Mizzou with a little help from a former Tiger.
"I had a coach in high school who always wanted me to come to Missouri so he kind of inspired me a little bit," said Egnew.
Call it the best assist in Dibi Ray's life.
Ray played basketball for Mizzou from 1996-98. He then returned to Plainview, Texas and coached Egnew's high school basketball team.
Egnew recalls, "He used to sing the fight song to me when we were out on the track. He'd be singing the fight song to me. You can't go anywhere else; you gotta go to Mizzou."
Egnew jumped at the chance. The 6-foot-6, 235 pound tight end won a high school state long jump championship and now runs a four-point-five in the 40 yard dash.
"He's got the broad jump record for the school. He jumps 11 feet 3 inches. Standing still, flat feet, he jumps 11 feet," said teammate TJ Moe.
High expectations took a couple of years to pan out.
Egnew caught more passes in the Illinois game than he had in the first two years of his career.
Kemp claimed Egnew is the "next All-American tight end."
"Just more concentration, more focus. The ability to be consistence, and keep my feet and stuff like that, said Egnew.
Teammate Blaine Gabbert stated, "He's worked his tail off and I'm giving all the credit to him. He knew he had the ability and he just had to go out there and show it. We saw him break out in bowl practices last season. Throughout spring ball and summer workouts he's become a whole different player. He's a game breaker."
Egnew doesn't talk much but what he says has a lot of meaning.
"He's been quoting Muhammad Ali a lot lately. I think he's drawing strength from him, but his confidence has really picked up," noted Kemp.
"He was the most confident athlete I've seen play the game. All the best athletes are. They know it. I'm not as outspoken as he is, but I still like to carry that same confidence," said Egnew.
And Egnew has a favorite quote for all the fans now on his boat.
Egnew quotes, "He murdered a stone, he injured a rock, hospitalized a brick, he's so mean that he made medicine sick."
So far this season, Egnew has 33 catches for 298 yards and one touchdown.