Mizzou Football Players have Different Ties to Oklahoma State

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ARLINGTON, TEXAS - There are many players on the Mizzou football team from the state of Texas, where the Cotton Bowl takes place. There's also a lot of Mizzou players that know of players on Oklahoma State, Mizzou's opponent for the bowl game.

A lot of the ties Mizzou players have with Oklahoma State players are thanks to high school football.

"Justin Gilbert he's a good friend of mine, ran track against him in high school and we've been competing against each other all of our lives," Mizzou running back Henry Josey said. "So it's going to be good to see him and also be across the field from him."

"I know two guys Josh Stewart and J.W. Walsh, the quarterback," Mizzou wide receiver Bud Sasser said. "I played against them in high school. They're cross town rivals, so we've got a little beef going on there."

And some of the ties are stronger than high school ties.

"There are about five guys that I know personally," Mizzou wide receiver Levi Copelin said. "Kevin Peterson, he played at Wagner. We were on the Oklahoma All-State team together. I played with Zac Veatch. And, obviously my cousin Caleb Muncrief."

One player is related to the opponent by blood. Copelin said the two have already had some exchanging of words.

"Me and my cousin, we're texting back and forth, I'm sure I have a couple messages on my phone right now," Copelin said. "But definitely when I see Zac Veatch and Kevin Peterson, those guys I'm going to say a few words to them."

Other Mizzou players who have Oklahoma State ties agree with Copelin. They said the friendly smack talking will be especially more intense on the field.

"Definitely there will be some smack talking but it will all be in the moment," Josey said. "It will be good smack talking. It won't be like we're trying to go after each other, but we'll have fun and compete against each other like we love it."

"High school all over again," Mizzou Cornerback Xavier Smith said. "I've lost to a good amount of those people on that team before, beat some."

No matter if players are friends or foes, the Mizzou football players know the task at hand.

"You know we just want to go out there and handle business." Sasser said. "Make sure we leave a message in that stadium, and go home with a win."

The Mizzou players say in the end, it's all about beating their former conference.