Shane Ray Drafted 23rd Overall by Denver

Tiger defensive end becomes Mizzou’s seventh first rounder since 2009.

CHICAGO, Ill. – Mizzou junior defensive end and reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year Shane Ray (Kansas City, Mo.) was selected with the No. 23 overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos on Thursday (April 30).

Ray becomes the seventh Mizzou standout since 2009 to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, joining DL Sheldon Richardson (No. 13 to the New York Jets in 2013), DL Aldon Smith (No. 7 to San Francisco in 2011), QB Blaine Gabbert (No. 10 to Jacksonville in 2011), LB Sean Weatherspoon (No. 19 to Atlanta in 2010), WR Jeremy Maclin (No. 19 to Philadelphia in 2009) and DT Ziggy Hood (No. 32 to Pittsburgh in 2009). Ray continues the trend of defensive lineman taking their careers in the NFL, becoming the sixth defensive lineman under Craig Kuligowski to be drafted since 2009.

Ray is the 19th Tiger in history to be taken in the NFL Draft’s first round. Prior to tonight’s draft, Mizzou ranked among the top five programs nationally in first round NFL Draft picks since 2009. Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel has now seen 27 players drafted since taking over the program in 2001. Below is a rundown of Mizzou’s draft picks.

Ray is coming off of a stellar junior season that saw him earn consensus First Team All-America honors after breaking Mizzou’s single-season sacks record with 14.5 on the year. He also added 22.5 tackles-for-loss. He was dubbed the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by both the Associated Press and the league’s 14 coaches, and additionally he was a four-time SEC weekly award winner. Ray was also a finalist for the Hendricks Award, given to the nation’s top DE and was also a semifinalist for the Lombardi and Bednarik Awards. He led the SEC in sacks and tackles-for-loss, ranking in the top five nationally in both categories.

Rounds two and three of the NFL Draft will be held Friday evening, beginning at 6 p.m. (CT) in Chicago on ESPN, as several more Tiger hopefuls will look to hear their names called. For all the latest on Mizzou football, stay tuned to and follow the team on twitter @MizzouFootball.

First Round History 

Year        Round    Pick         Overall   Tiger                                       Team                      Position
2015       1              23           23           Shane Ray                              Broncos                 DL
2013       1              13           13           Sheldon Richardson            Jets                         DL
2011       1              7              7              Aldon Smith                          49ers                      DE
2011       1              10           10           Blaine Gabbert                     Jaguars                   QB
2010       1              19           19           Sean Weatherspoon           Falcons                   LB
2009       1              19           19           Jeremy Maclin                      Eagles                     WR
2009       1              32           32           Ziggy Hood                            Steelers                 DL
2001       1              4              4              Justin Smith                           Bengals                  DE
1987       1              15           15           John Clay                               Raiders                   T
1981       1              26           26           Howard Richards                  Cowboys                T
1979       1              13           13           Kellen Winslow                    Chargers                TE
1977       1              11           11           Morris Towns                        Oilers                     T
1977       1              19           19           Steve Pisarkiewicz               Cardinals                QB
1971       1              11           11           Joe Moore                             Bears                      RB
1969       1              19           19           Roger Wehrli                        Cardinals                DB
1968       1              4              4              Russ Washington Chargers                               T
1966       1              10           10           Francis Peay                          Giants                     T
1946       1              8              8              Bill Dellastatious                   Lions                       B
1943       1              9              9              Bob Steuber                          Bears                      RB


Here’s a recap of all of the NFL Draft picks to play for Gary Pinkel at Mizzou…


Year        Round    Pick         Overall   Tiger                                      Team                      Position
2014       2              28           60           Kony Ealy                               Panthers                DL
2014       2              32           64           Justin Britt                             Seahwaks               OL
2014       6              12           188         E.J. Gaines                              Rams                       DB
2014       7              34           249         Michael Sam                         Rams                       DL
2013       1              13           13           Sheldon Richardson            Jets                         DL
2012       3              15           78           Michael Egnew                     Dolphins                TE
2011       1              7              7              Aldon Smith                          49ers                      DE
2011       1              10           10            Blaine Gabbert                    Jaguars                   QB
2011       7              31           234         Andrew Gachkar                  Chargers                LB
2010       1              19           19           Sean Weatherspoon           Falcons                  LB
2009       1              19           19           Jeremy Maclin                      Eagles                     WR
2009       1              32           32           Ziggy Hood                            Steelers                 DL
2009       2              23           55           William Moore                     Falcons                   S
2009       3              34           98           Chase Coffman                     Bengals                  TE
2009       5              3              139         Colin Brown                          Chiefs                     OL
2009       6              26           199         Stryker Sulak                         Raiders                   DL
2008       4              6              105         Will Franklin                          Chiefs                     WR
2008       4              12           111         Martin Rucker                      Browns                   TE
2007       4              16           113         Brian Smith                            Jaguars                   DE
2006       4              6              103         Brad Smith                             Jets                         WR
2006       7              35           243         Tony Palmer                          Rams                       G
2005       3              25           89           Atiyyah Ellison                      Panthers                DT
2005       5              6              142         Damien Nash                         Titans                      RB
2005       6              17           191         C.J. Mosley                            Vikings                    DT
2003       5              8              143         Justin Gage                            Bears                      WR
2003       6              41           214          Keith Wright                        Texans                    DT

2015 NFL Draft prospects participated in a NFL Play 60 Event in Chicago on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Play 60, founded in 2007, is an NFL initiative that encourages kids to play for 60 minutes every day to tackle childhood obesity and encourage an active and healthy generation.

Mizzou Made defensive lineman Shane Ray was among the prospects that came out and played 60 minutes of football on Wednesday.

“To be able to come out here and play with all these kids and see the bright smiling faces, it’s awesome” Ray said. “If we could get something like Play 60 in all the inner-cities somewhere I feel like it would be such a great thing.”

Ray also said the opportunity was great for the athletes as well as the kids to be a part of the NFL’s Play 60 event at the NFL Draft. Ray is in Chicago for the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday, April 30 at 7 p.m.

“Be an encourager; not a discourager.”

The above quote describes the Mizzou Football Family’s approach to attitude. To be successful, encouraging those around you is key.

Another key component is having pride. Pride in yourself, pride in your coaches and pride in your teammates. Tiger Pride has a lot of components, and it’s something that all Mizzou Football players must strive for.

Tiger Pride

  1. Tiger Pride begins with people. It is having a superior concern for people. It is an abiding respect for the dignity and potential of every person in our program.
  2. Tiger Pride is coming together as a team. Everyone in our football program has a role to play, everyone has a part, and everyone must contribute.
  3. Tiger Pride is integrity. It is a commitment to integrity that is lived 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year.
  4. Tiger Pride must be synonymous with the word trust. There has to be mutual trust between the people in our football program. Here is what mutual trust is all about it. You must work harder than you have ever worked in your entire life because the guy next to you is working harder than he has ever worked in his entire life. He trusts you and you trust him.
  5. Tiger Pride is compassion. Every Mizzou athlete is treated fairly and honestly.
  6. Tiger Pride is leadership. Leadership seems to be the marshaling of skills possessed by a majority, but used by a minority. Leadership can be learned by anyone, taught to everyone, denied to no one. Nice guys are dime a dozen – a leader is priceless.
  7. Tiger Pride is about winning and being a winner. Winning is reaching your full potential and becoming all that you can become. Winning is giving your best shot every day. Winning is overcoming setbacks, frustration and adversity.
  8. Tiger Pride is a continued pursuit of excellence. It is doing all the little things right. Tiger Pride is doing 1,000 little things 1 percent better than our competition.
  9. Tiger Pride is methodical day-to-day- work. Tiger Pride is summer conditioning and summer ball. It is two-a-day practices. Tiger Pride is in-season preparation. It is winter workouts and spring football.
  10. Tiger Pride is you. Tiger Pride is feeling good about yourself because you are special. Tiger Pride is being #1. Tiger Pride is being a part of a great university in an exceptional place… MISSOURI! WE ARE MIZZOU!

Athletics has teamed up with True North of Columbia, a comprehensive sexual violence and domestic abuse service program, in hosting its “Men as Allies” event on the University of Missouri campus. University officials such as Mizzou Director of Athletics Mike Alden, as well as several student athletes were in attendance to demonstrate against sexual assault and domestic violence.

“To know that we had so many of our student athletes here, so many of our coaches and staff really embracing the fact that sexual assault and domestic violence there is no place for that on our campus, there is no place for that in our athletic program.” Alden said, “And that students are the ones saying that. For them to be here in force, I think it makes a pretty strong statement.”

“It is an amazing catalyst for change in the community,” Colleen Coble from the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence said. “The men in leadership positions both in the community and on the campus is just amazing. It’s going to make a difference.”

True North of Columbia’s mission is to provide a safe environment by educating, empowering and advocating for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Their services include providing victims of abuse with safe housing, advocacy and support through counseling and education groups. Mizzou Football is proud to support True North of Columbia in their work to eliminate domestic abuse and sexual violence.

“The harder you work for something, the more it will mean to you.”

The above quote describes the Mizzou Football program’s philosophy on working for something. One key is to be a self-starter.

There are 15 ingredients of being a self-starter:

COMPETITIVE GREATNESS: Be at your best when your best is needed. Enjoyment of a difficult challenge.

POISE: Just being yourself. Being at ease in any situation. Never fighting yourself.

CONFIDENCE: Respect without fear often comes from being prepared and keeping all things in proper perspective.

CONDITION: Mental-moral-physical. Rest, exercise and diet must be considered. Moderation must be practiced. Dissipation must be eliminated.

SKILL: A knowledge of and the ability to properly and quickly execute the fundamentals. Be prepared and cover every little detail.

TEAM SPIRT: A genuine consideration for others. An eagerness to sacrifice personal interests of glory for the welfare of all.

SELF-CONTROL: Practice self-discipline and keep emotions under control. Good judgment and common sense are essential.

ALERTNESS: Be observing constantly. Stay open-minded. Be eager to learn/improve.

INITIATIVE: Cultivate the ability to make decisions and think alone. Do not be afraid of failure, but learn from it.

INTENTNESS: Set a realistic goal. Concentrate on its achievement by resisting all temptations and being determined and persistent.

INDUSTRIOUSNESS: There’s no substitute for work. Worthwhile results are from hard work and planning.

FRIENDSHIP: Comes from mutual esteem, respect and devotion. Like marriage, it must not be taken for granted; it requires a joint effort.

LOYALTY: To yourself and all those depending upon you. Keep your self-respect.

COOPERATION: With all levels of your coworkers, listen if you want to be heard. Be interested in finding the best way, not in having your own way.

ENTHUSIASM: Brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact. You must truly enjoy what you are doing.

If you possess these 15 qualities, you should have success when it comes to self-starting. Hard work is key to success, and the harder you work, the more that success will mean to you.

Hundreds of Mizzou Made players returned to Columbia on April 18 for the annual Mizzou Black and Gold Spring Game, including current NFL stars Jeremy Maclin, Brad Smith, Sheldon Richardson and Tim Barnes. The Mizzou Tigers met at the Dan Devine Indoor Pavilion for the annual former players reunion before kickoff.

The Mizzou Made players were recognized on the field in The ZOU before a 30,000-plus crowd. Mizzou Made offensive lineman Mitch Morse called it “a celebration… to connect the generations of Tigers that have been here before and get a first look of what we’re going to look like this year.”

Mizzou Made defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson said, “It feels great to be back. It’s always good to come back home and get to see the old true Mizzou fans.”

The Black and Gold Spring Game was an opportunity for fans to get one last look at the 2015 Mizzou Tigers before their season opener September 5th in The ZOU. Be sure to check out the 2015 NFL Draft April 30th as the next round of Mizzou Made players enter the NFL.

Football was back in action in The ZOU Saturday, April 18, and the atmosphere was just as electric as ever. Gary Pinkel’s squad gave the crowd of 30,000-plus a reason to cheer as the 2014 Mizzou seniors were recognized at midfield. Hundreds of MizzouMade players, including NFL stars like Jeremy Maclin, Brad Smith, Sheldon Richardson, and Tim Barnes were in The ZOU to catch up with their Mizzou family.

It was the first team defense that came up big to begin the game, with junior defensive end Marcus Loud getting a sack to end the first series. The second team offense would get it going later though. They drove down the field and made some impressive individual plays in the first quarter, including a one-handed catch and run by senior tailback Tyler Hunt on a screen pass.

But the 1’s wouldn’t be outdone. Senior tailback Russell Hansbrough rushed his way to a first down and sophomore tight end Jason Reese hauled in a 12-yard catch from junior quarterback Maty Mauk to set up a field goal. Senior placekicker Andrew Baggett, who’s had a strong spring season, put a 36-yard field goal through the uprights to make it 14-3 after booting a 65-yard punt earlier in the quarter.

Following the first score of the game, the 2’s responded with a drive of their own. A back-shoulder pass from sophomore quarterback Eddie Printz to sophomore wide receiver DeSean Blair resulted in a 20-yard gain, and highlighted the drive by the second team. The drive ended on 4th and 1 when junior defensive lineman Harold Brantley dropped for a 2-yard loss.

Mauk looked impressive in the next series, hooking up with senior wide receiver Wesley Leftwich on a nice out-route while on the move for a 14-yard gain. Mauk would also scramble his way inside the 5-yard line in the 2-minute drill, and capped off the series with a 4-yard fade to junior wide receiver J’mon Moore in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Mauk threw for 5-6 for 36 yards on the series, and also scrambled 3 times for 28 yards on the ground. His totals for the game were 9-14 for 68 yards, one touchdown and 6 carries for 40 rushing yards.

The second half showed more highlight plays, including a nice 25-yard grab from sophomore wide receiver Raymond Wingo from fellow sophomore quarterback Marvin Zanders, and a 23-yard catch two plays later. Junior placekicker Nick Coffman would give the 2’s a 25-yard field goal. The final score Tiger2 17, Mizzou1 10.

The Mizzou Football Family begins fall camp for the 2015 season the first week of August. You can buy tickets here to cheer on the Back-to-Back SEC East Champions in the fall.

MizzouMade defensive end and top NFL prospect Shane Ray was honored at the annual Kansas City Sports Commission Awards Banquet Wednesday night as the Kansas City Marriott Downtown Sportsman of the Year. Ray attended Bishop Miege High School in Kansas City where he led his team to a class 4A Missouri State Championship, was selected among a list of candidates for his accomplishments on the field and his dedication to the community off of it.

Ray led the SEC in sacks (13) and tackles for loss (22.5) while also racking up 65 total tackles in 2014. Ray was also named the 2014 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a consensus First Team All-American. Shane’s volunteer work at the Boys and Girls Club of Missouri and food banks in his neighborhood was another leading factor for him being selected for the honor.

Ray will become the 42nd person to win the Sportsman of the Year honor. Each year the Commission honors outstanding individuals for their commitment and achievement in sports. The Sportsman of the Year is given to a Kansas City male athlete who exemplifies all the positive aspects of sport and has made a positive impact on the Kansas City community. Ray is currently projected to be a top 10 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, which takes place on April 30 in Chicago. Congratulations to Shane on this terrific achievement and being an example of a #MizzouMade athlete!

“Secrets of success will not work unless you do.”

Mizzou Football players and coaches strive for success on and off the field. They know success is a result of hard work, and that it’s not going to happen overnight.

There are ten keys to success. They are integrity, determination, openness, initiative, time management, resilience, imagination, gratitude, humility and thinking of others first. You can remember these keys by thinking: I DO IT RIGHT.

Integrity means always be honest. Know your principles and stand by them.

Determination: Make up your mind to be successful. Resolve to let nothing stand in your way.

Openness to people, ideas and situations broadens our options and widens our perspective.

Initiative is to act independently when necessary. Make a plan and then start to work on it. No plan is perfect. Don’t wait until yours is before you act.

Time management coupled with self-discipline has you working on what is most important rather than working on what is most pressing.

Resilience picks you up when setbacks knock you down. Recommit to a vision of success. Reaffirm your self-confidence & move toward your goal.

Imagination allows us to see the future. Develop and maintain the perspective of a child. Wonder why not and what if. Many successes come from seeing an old idea in a new way.

Gratitude is an active way to thank others. Pass on to others the same help and prosperity you have received.

Humility recognizes that success is usually the result of the effort and cooperation of many people. It’s seldom the product of solitary action.

Think of others first. All of us serve others in some capacity. Use your abilities fully to help others benefit from their contact with you.

These keys will help remind you of the path to follow that leads you to your success.

Success can be hard to achieve and it takes a lot of self-discipline and dedication. The Mizzou Football program has 21 suggestions to help lead you to become successful:

  1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90 percent of your happiness or misery.
  2. Work at something you enjoy and that’s worth of your time and talent.
  3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
  6. Be generous.
  7. Have a grateful heart.
  8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.
  9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
  10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  12. Commit yourself to quality.
  13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationship with people you love and respect.
  14. Be loyal.
  15. Be honest.
  16. Be a self-starter.
  17. Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.
  18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
  19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
  20. Take good care of those you love.
  21. Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud.


Mizzou Football team scrimmaged on Tuesday, April 14 in The ZOU. Both sides of the ball made some impressive plays in what was the team’s last scrimmage before the Black and Gold Spring Game on April 18 at The ZOU.

The offense made plays throughout the scrimmage, including a nice 12–yard fade from junior quarterback Maty Mauk to find senior wide receiver Wesley Leftwich in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. The offense’s young standouts made some impressive plays as well, including a catch and hurdle by freshman tight end Kendall Blanton to set up a 50-yard Andrew Baggett field goal. Sophomore tight end Jason Reese also showed his strength by giving a strong second effort to gain yards after a reception. He would finish with two catches for 31 yards on the day.

The defense wouldn’t be outdone either, as junior defensive lineman Josh Augusta made a big time play with tackle for loss. The defense also continued to produce turnovers on the afternoon like they have all spring, as senior cornerback David Johnson laid out for a tipped ball to grab an interception. Junior cornerback Aarion Penton looked impressive again as he recorded his third pick of the spring and return it for 23 yards.

The offense finished strong, however. Mauk hooked up with sophomore wide receiver J’mon Moore for a 50-yard bomb for a touchdown to close out the scrimmage. Moore would finish with four catches for 72 yards and one touchdown. Mauk completed 11 passes on 21 attempts, good for 138 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while also rushing for 17 yards. The Mizzou offense looks to bring it against the talented defense at the Black and Gold Spring Game this Saturday, April 18th at 4 p.m. at The ZOU.