defending Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl Champions visited the Missouri State Capitol on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. The Mizzou Football Family and Head Coach Gary Pinkel were honored for their accomplishments this past season, when the Tigers went 11-3 and took another trip to Atlanta as the back-to-back SEC East Division Champions.

Chants of MIZ-ZOU filled the halls of the Missouri State Capitol as the Mizzou Football team was escorted around the building and stopped to sign autographs. Governor Jay Nixon asked, “Who on this team is the least likely to be governor of their home state, but you think they could be?” Pinkel and the rest of the team responded “Maty Mauk” immediately. Mauk, smiling from the big chair, promptly hired Evan Boehm as his center.

Mizzou Football takes pride in representing the University of Missouri as well as the state of Missouri, and Senator Kurt Schaefer told the team how proud he is of Mizzou Football and Pinkel.

“You guys are just doing such a fantastic job of representing the state of Missouri and I can’t thank you and your coach enough for everything you have done,” Schaefer said. “We couldn’t be more proud.”

Mizzou Football will be back in action at the 2015 Black and Gold Spring Game at 4 p.m. April 18 at the ZOU. Follow Mizzou Football on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for information about the Black & Gold Spring Game and other activities in the offseason.

“All individual goals and accomplishments are secondary to the family’s success.” – Mizzou Family Covenant

A covenant is an agreement that binds people together. For the Mizzou Football Family, an agreement means total commitment. You are either 100 percent in, or you are out. There is no such thing as life in between.

While the rules may sound harsh, they help develop family bond among brothers who are committed to each other and overall success. A strong family unit requires care, time, and dedication. In order to nurture this type of environment at Mizzou, every player and coach must give 100 percent effort to the program.

The Mizzou Family Covenant is based on the standards and practices necessary to win a championship, as well as standards to better each player as a leader off of the field.

The quote above says, “All individual goals are secondary to the family’s success.” These words apply to the goals and standards of the Mizzou Football Family.  In order to achieve team success, your desires must be secondary to the team’s goals. Just like in a literal family unit, you must be flexible and aware of your family’s needs. If teammates cannot sacrifice their schedules and comfort for the family, they will not be able to contribute to the team’s success. 

Here are the standards that constitute the Mizzou Football Family Covenant:

You are committed to excellence, not only as an athlete, but also as a student-athlete. Your success and achievements are for the family.

All individual goals and accomplishments are secondary to the family’s success. Jealousy, selfishness, and individualism are extremely destructive to the family.

You will abide by family policy, rules, and regulations (or this place might not be for you).

You will not participate in any cliques or segmented groups that destroy the family concept and unity. We must support all family members at all times.

A Missouri Tiger football player gives his all—all the time. He never gives up and he never gives in.

You must have a winning attitude.

In a family, rules are in place in order to foster trust, care, and responsibility. A great organization does not thrive without standards, and a family cannot flourish without strong bonds and clear expectations. The Mizzou Football Family finds true Tigers through commitment to the program. When a player upholds these standards, he is meant to be a member of the team.

How do you know when you are giving your full effort to the family’s success? Here are some identifiers:

Teammate trust: Can your teammates trust you? Communication between players and coaches is crucial. When you have effective communication, you build trust, which produces relationship and accountability.

Commitment to the Player Development Program: True Tigers are enthusiastic competitors. They know their assignments and know how to complete the task at hand in an effective manner.

Family care: You must care about winning and make personal sacrifices so that your family can win. It is not easy to be selfless. If it were, everyone on every team would be doing it.

Above all, Tigers know that being a part of the family is a privilege, not a right. Their commitment to the Missouri Family Covenant means time and self-sacrifice, and they are willing to do it all for the family.

class=”p1″>Mizzou Made defensive end Shane Ray is one of the most decorated defenders in school history. He earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors and broke Mizzou’s single-season sack record with 14 in 2014.

Ray, who is currently in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, more than lived up to the D-Line Zou tradition at the collegiate level and is looking to do the same in the NFL.

“[D-Line Zou] is a sense of tradition and pride that was handed down,” Ray said. “To me, I feel like it was handed down from Sheldon Richardson, to Kony Ealy, to Michael Sam, to me and Markus Golden, and I think that what we do in college and what we do at the next level sets the tone for how great of a coach [defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski] is and what we can do as a program.”

Ray and Golden are looking to become the ninth and tenth Mizzou Made defensive linemen currently in the NFL.

Ray is expected to be one of the first picks in the 2015 NFL Draft. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. currently projects the Jacksonville Jaguars to select Ray with the No. 3 overall pick. Kiper writes of Ray, “He’s a relentless disruptive force and is exactly the kind of player the Jags need.”

During his press conference at the combine, Ray made it clear he believes he can be an impact player at the NFL level.

“Well, personally, I feel like I bring everything you need as a defender to the table,” he said. “I play with a lot of passion and a lot of energy, and just—I’m really physical.”

Ray will be working out during Mizzou Football’s Pro Day on March 19.

Mizzou currently ranks in the top five nationwide of first-round picks since 2009, thanks in part to tradition of D-Line Zou excellence. Follow @GaryPinkel and @MizzouFootball on Twitter and Facebook for continuing updates on the NFL Scouting Combine.

class=”p1″>Mizzou Made defensive end Markus Golden is ready to carry on the D-Line Zou tradition at the NFL level.

Golden is currently in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine and says it means a lot to him be the next Mizzou Made defensive lineman in the professional ranks.

“I’m going to make sure I carry [the D-Line Zou tradition] in the right way, in a professional way, and make sure I go to the NFL to compete,” Golden said.

Golden earned 2015 Citrus Bowl MVP honors and posted 10 sacks and 20 tackles for a loss during the 2014 regular season.

Golden says the “strong mindset” he developed at Mizzou has helped him get ready for this weekend.

“I always think back to all the things I learned at Mizzou and it’s helping me still to this day, “ Golden said. “ I’ll be keeping Mizzou in my heart forever. “

Golden added that his Mizzou coaches, specifically defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, have helped become the player he is.

“I learned a lot from all the coaches, but Coach Kul helped me out a lot as a defensive lineman and it was a blessing to be a part of the D-Line Zou and especially the Mizzou family,” he said.

Mizzou’s combine participants are the latest in a long string of Mizzou Made stars seeking a spot in the NFL, ranking Mizzou in the top five nationwide of first-round picks since 2009. Follow @GaryPinkel and @MizzouFootball on Twitter and Facebook for updates throughout the week on Mizzou Made athletes at the combine.

Mizzou Football fans can catch the first glimpse of the 2015 Mizzou Football Team at the Black & Gold Spring Game on April 18 at 4:00pm in The ZOU.

The annual spring game gives fans a chance to see the student-athletes, some new and some familiar, back in action. After fierce competition, last year’s Black & Gold Spring Game was decided by only 1 point. A number of notable Mizzou Made athletes cheered on their former teammates on the sidelines of 2014 Black & Gold Spring Game, including Justin Britt, Sheldon Richardson, E.J. Gaines, Chase Coffman, and Chase Daniel

Check GaryPinkel.com and like Mizzou Football on Facebook for more details leading up to the 2015 Black & Gold Spring Game, including extra events and activities going on throughout the weekend. 

Every February, NFL coaches, scouts, and general managers from across the nation travel to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, to evaluate NFL prospects. The event is a weeklong process known as the NFL Combine.

Talented college athletes from around the country are hand-selected to attend the showcase and demonstrate their physical, mental, and social skills throughout the course of a week.

Performance is critical at the NFL Combine. The combine has been given the nickname “workout warrior”—and for good reason. It is a challenging week in every aspect of athletics, but it is rewarding for those who exhibit impressive speed, size, and strength.

Four talented Mizzou Made athletes received invitations to attend the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine: running back Marcus Murphy, offensive lineman Mitch Morse, and defensive ends Markus Golden and Shane Ray.

The showcase is run on a tight schedule, and it is packed with registrations, mental tests, physical workouts, and interviews. Even when the players are not working or interviewing, NFL scouts and coaches are judging their poise and presence.

In order to organize hundreds of football players, the selected athletes are divided into groups based on their field positions. Every player completes the same “warrior workout,” but some participate at later dates.

There are 11 groups, and the Mizzou Tigers are placed in the following divisions:

Group 2: Mitch Morse (OL)

Group 6: Marcus Murphy (RB)

Group 8: Markus Golden and Shane Ray (DL)

Here is the complete 2015 NFL Combine schedule for your Mizzou Tigers. All showcase events run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

Group 2: Mitch Morse

Tuesday, Feb. 17th: Registration, orientation, hospital pre-exams and X-Rays, and interviews with media.

Wednesday, Feb. 18th: Measurements, medical examinations, and interviews with media.

Thursday, Feb. 19th: NFLPA meeting, psychological testing, PK/ST workout, bench press, and interviews with media.

Friday, Feb. 20th: On-field workout (timing, stations, skill drills), departure from Indianapolis.

Group 6: Marcus Murphy

Wednesday, Feb. 18th: Registration, orientation, hospital pre-exams and X-Rays, and interviews with media.

Thursday, Feb. 19th: Measurements, medical examinations, and interviews with media.

Friday, Feb. 20th: NFLPA meeting, psychological testing, PK/ST workout, bench press, and interviews with media.

Saturday, Feb. 21st: On-field workout (timing, stations, skill drills), departure from Indianapolis.

Group 8: Markus Golden and Shane Ray

Thursday, Feb. 19th:  Registration, orientation, hospital pre-exams and X-Rays, and interviews with media.

Friday, Feb. 20th: Measurements, medical examinations, and interviews with media.

Saturday, Feb. 21st: NFLPA meeting, psychological testing, PK/ST workout, bench press, and interviews with media.

Sunday, Feb 22nd: On-field workout (timing, stations, skill drills), departure from Indianapolis.

Mizzou fans can watch the four Mizzou Made stars compete at the 2015 NFL Combine live on the NFL Network, NFL.com, NFL Now, and NFL Mobile. Follow @GaryPinkel and @MizzouFootball on Twitter and like Mizzou Football on Facebook for live updates throughout the week on these future draft picks.

class=”p1″>Offensive lineman Mitch Morse is demonstrating what it means to be Mizzou Made at the 2015 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Since the 2015 Citrus Bowl, Morse has been training and preparing for the opportunity to compete in the 2015 NFL Combine. Now, as a current competitor in the showcase, Morse is putting his months of preparation to the test in front of NFL coaches, scouts, and general managers.

The NFL Combine is a weeklong showcase that consists of physical tests and mental evaluations. When Morse is not on the field or in the weight room, he is conducting interviews with various media outlets.

“You’re always kept on your toes, but it has been a blessing already,” Morse said. “It’s exciting, it really is.”

Morse is not the only offensive lineman in Tiger history to make his mark in Indianapolis. Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Justin Britt was in Morse’s shoes just one year ago at the 2014 combine.

“He left such an impression on everyone at the combine, so I know the importance,” Morse said. “It starts not only at the physical aspect, but at the interviews, the meet and greets—you’re always on the clock here.”

As Morse moves forward with the weeklong showcase, he finds wisdom and strength in the lessons he learned from his Mizzou Football Family.

“Here you have to be super disciplined to your schedule and eating habits,” said Morse. “Mizzou establishes that in you and it has really helped me over the last few weeks.”

Mizzou’s combine participants are the latest in a long string of Mizzou Made stars seeking a spot in the NFL, ranking Mizzou in the top five nationwide of first-round picks since 2009. Follow @GaryPinkel and @MizzouFootball on Twitter and Facebook for updates throughout the week on Morse and other Mizzou Made athletes at the combine.

“Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a society work, a civilization work.”
–Vince Lombardi

Nothing compares to the thrill of a team uniting for one common goal. All great organizations are marked by desire to achieve, and a healthy team is comprised of committed players who work for the success of the unit, not for their individual gain.

In order to have a great team, you must be a committed player. Instead of focusing on how your teammates can improve, set the focus on your commitment. When the time is right, you will be given opportunities to encourage your teammates and hold each other accountable.

It is important to remember the five characteristics of a good team player when evaluating your efforts:

  • Give 100 percent. Even when giving up sounds better than sticking it out, a true player gives his all for the success of the team. If you decide to slack, your team will suffer.
  • Show courage on and off the field. Your influence does not end when you aren’t in uniform. The attitudes and actions you exhibit in your day-to-day life will impact your role on the field.
  • Make no mental mistakes. Mental training and dedication is just as important as the physical aspect. Your focus and dedication matters for the success of your team.
  • Care about your team above all else. When you make a commitment to your team, you are promising to invest in this relationship and be the best team member you can.
  • Demonstrate loyalty to all. When you exemplify consistency to your teammates, they will trust you. There is nothing more important than trust.
  • As you encounter challenges and difficulties, it will be easy to lose sight of your team commitment. When those instances arise, remember whom you are working for. Success is temporary, but teammates are forever.

Here are five ways to honor your teammates:

  1. Be academically responsible for your teammates. If you do not prioritize school, your grades will suffer, and so will your position on your team. When you choose to put in the academic legwork, you are choosing to be a successful team unit.
  2. Have a great work ethic for your teammates. Your slack will cause your team to stumble. When you hold up your end of the bargain, you will encourage and help your teammates.
  3. Have a positive attitude for your teammates. When you build others up and resist a complaining attitude, others will want to follow in your footsteps. A positive atmosphere creates success; a negative atmosphere tears it down.
  4. Be unselfish for your teammates. Remember that the team is greater than you. When you are tempted to focus on your own desires, get out of your head and back into your team.
  5. Be committed to all that we for your teammates. When everyone is working together, progress is made. It is important that everyone on your team is committed to every aspect of your program.
  6. Begin to foster a team mindset in others by modeling a willingness to serve the big picture rather than yourself. Winning teams have players who put the good of the team ahead of their own successes.

Above all, trust is the ultimate factor. A team will be successful when everyone is confident in one another. No matter if you win or lose, your team will be strong through an unbreakable team bond.

It’s nearly renewal time for Mizzou Football season ticket holders. Prices for the upcoming 2015 season have been set, and fans can begin to renew or purchase season tickets starting next week through March 31st.

Fans that renew before March 31 will receive a 2014 Mizzou football highlight DVD, an exclusive discount offer to the Tiger Team Store, exclusive concession offers and discounts throughout the 2015 season, and two free tickets to a Men’s Basketball non-conference game during the 2015-16 season.

Priority will be given to those who purchased season tickets for the 2014 season. Renewals should begin sometime next week via email, and paper order forms should arrive soon after that. New season tickets will be available for purchase in early March for the general public.

Prices for the 2015 home season tickets are:

  • General Public: $360
  • Upper East Deck, Rows 1-3: $360)
  • Upper East Deck, Rows 4-15: $273
  • Faculty/Staff: $273;
  • Tiger Zone: $273)
  • Young Alumni: $273
  • Family Fun Pass: $710
  • Suites/Loge: $475
  • Tiger Lounge: $475
  • East Loge: $475
  • East Club: $475
  • Touchdown Terrace:
  • $760); Student Combo: $228
  • Student Football Only: $152

Mizzou Football’s 2015 home schedule includes games against Southeast Missouri State (September 5), UConn (September 19), South Carolina (Octoober3), Mississippi State (November 5), and Tennessee (November 21). Homecoming will be against Florida on October 10.

Be sure to follow Mizzou Football on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more updates regarding Mizzou Football season ticket purchases and renewals.

class=”p1″>Mizzou Made legends Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman, and Chase Daniel were inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, February 13.

Maclin was a Consensus All-American in 2007 and 2008 for Mizzou. In his two seasons under Head Coach Gary Pinkel, the wideout, return man, and rushing threat totaled 33 touchdowns and a remarkable 5,609 all-purpose yards, a school record. Maclin also broke numerous single season records in 2008, including catches (102), receiving yards (1,206) and receiving touchdowns (13).

The Eagles selected Maclin with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. The 26-year-old had a career year in 2014 for the Eagles, recording 85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coffman played under Pinkel from 2005-2008 and finished his Mizzou career as the most dominant tight end in school history. He caught 247 passes for 2,569 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Coffman’s best season came in 2008 in which he caught 90 passes for 987 yards and 10 touchdowns. He won the John Mackey Award (given to the nation’s best tight end) and won Consensus All-American honors for his play in 2008.

The Cincinnati Bengals selected Coffman in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He caught six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown this past season with the Tennessee Titans.

Daniel, who also played under Pinkel from 2005-08, is the most decorated quarterback in Mizzou history. Daniel owns nearly every Mizzou passing record and finished his career with 12,515 yards and 101 touchdowns.

Daniel was a Heisman Trophy finalist and earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2007. He threw for 4,306 yards and 33 touchdowns during the season.

Daniel has spent five years in the NFL, including the past two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. Daniel started one game in 2014, leading the Chiefs to a 19-7 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Week 17.

The three Mizzou Hall of Famers were also honored at the Mizzou men’s basketball game on Saturday, February 14, against Mississippi State.

These talented players are three standouts among the dozens of Mizzou Made players who have gone on to make a big impact in the NFL. Since 2009, Mizzou is in the top five nationally in first-round draft picks.