Cale Garrett leads the team in pre-practice stretches

Missouri linebacker Cale Garrett leads the team in pre-practice stretches Thursday on Faurot Field. Garrett is entering his senior season with the Missouri Tigers. 

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After Missouri’s spring football game Saturday evening, fans cleared out of Memorial Stadium for the last time until September, when MU takes on West Virginia with the 2019 season already underway.

Spring practices ended this past week. Fall camp doesn’t kick off until early August. Missouri players will remain busy during the four months in between, though.

Team operations will still be active with players participating in Missouri's summer program, coach Barry Odom said after the spring game. Athletes on scholarship will complete six credit hours over the summer and partake in specialized weight room workouts Monday through Friday. Players say it’s the ideal time to focus on the nitty-gritty.

“Some days it’s the running or conditioning that we would do,” Odom said. “Some days it’s based only around speed development, change of direction, linear speed work.”

There will also be weekly individualized classroom sessions for each player to learn and study X’s and O’s with coaches. It all comes together in weekly mini scrimmages organized by team leaders, Odom said.

“We set up a time each week that they do 7-on-7 against each other, 1-on-1s, individual drills,” Odom said, “so it’s a full summer.”

With a lighter class schedule during the summer, linebacker Cale Garrett likes this opportunity to focus more on football and spending time in the film room.

Garrett is not opposed to speed training, though. He actually looks forward to it, especially because he considers himself more of a football player than an athlete.

“I think everybody would love to be able to run a 4.4 and jump a 40-inch vertical,” Garrett said. “Just being able to get closer to that in any way shape or form would be awesome. Being less slow is the goal I think.”

Each player has his own goals for the summer. Some want to focus on improving a specific aspect of their game, and others think it’s better to progress in as many areas as possible. Here are some of their thoughts on the upcoming summer.

Larry Rountree, running back: “I want to get everything. You want to get your feet right. You want to get your cuts right. You want to get your hands right. You want to get your blocking right. You look at all those things. You gotta get all those things right. You don't want to have your blocking better, but then your feet are not as good. You want to have everything. Getting better as a player and getting better as a teammate too.”

Jonathan Nance, wide receiver: “Just making sure I stay healthy and get more in the weight room to get ready for the SEC.”

Tyler Badie, running back: “Basically just work on my speed. Obviously, I’m fast already, but just want to get a little bit faster. I want to get bigger too. My eating habits need to get better. Need to be more durable to be a 2-back in the SEC. I like a lot of chicken. I’m not a big vegetable guy, so I need to incorporate some more vegetables into my diet.”

Kam Scott, wide receiver: “Keep putting in hard work. Working on my routes, doing my routes better. Everything that I do basically right now, just gonna keep on constantly working at everything. It’s a little bit of everything. Running deep, whatever you want me to do, I’m gonna get better at everything.”

Supervising editor is Brendan Lavell.

This article originally ran on columbiamissourian.com.