COLUMBIA — Jacquies Smith wants to give his grandmother one of his Missouri football jerseys.
Smith is free to keep his jersey from Saturday’s game against Kansas. The jersey is part of Nike’s “Pro Combat” series that Missouri and nine other schools participated in. Saturday’s game will be the only time Missouri wears the uniform that features a distinct gray helmet.
The helmets will be auctioned off by Missouri, along with some other pieces of the uniform. But players are allowed to keep their jerseys.
Smith’s grandmother will have to wait. He can’t part with the mementos from Missouri’s 41-39 win. He plans to frame the jersey and cleats in his bedroom.
“I’ll never forget this,” he said. “This win is sweet.”
Instead, Smith plans to give his grandmother the jersey from whatever bowl game Missouri plays in this season.
When asked what plans he had for his jersey, offensive lineman Kurtis Gregory sighed and said, “I don’t know.”
Over his years at Missouri, Gregory’s jerseys have scattered. One sits at a friend’s house. The same friend’s girlfriend has another one. Gregory said he has one at his home in Columbia, and he thinks his mother has one as well.
“I know where they’re all at, I’m just trying to get them all back together,” Gregory said.
The friend’s girlfriend wanted to wear one of the jerseys, so Gregory gave it to her. When a new restaurant opened up in his hometown of Blackburn, Gregory gave his 2008 Cotton Bowl jersey to hang in the restaurant. After finding out that was not permitted, Gregory had the jersey removed. The jersey sits at his friend’s house, and Gregory has a standing invitation to retrieve it.
“I just never have grabbed it,” he said.
Gregory’s father brought up the idea of organizing all of the jerseys from his college career.
“They’ll get back together sooner or later,” Gregory said. “I’m not too worried.”
He said he has not given any thought as to how the jerseys will one day be organized.
“Nope, not a clue,” he said.
Other players are more organized. Carl Gettis' go to his mother, and he gives her full control in showcasing them around the house. She hasn’t confined them to one room, putting them all over the house.
“She’ll maybe have one on a wall, and then she’ll have a stand, maybe, just sitting there framed,” he said. “Just whatever, however she wants to do it.”
Jerrell Jackson has a similar system, sending jerseys home to his family. He sent his last jersey to his mother, so he plans to send this one to his father.
“I’m keeping my jersey and sending it back to Houston, Texas, to my family,” he said. “Post it up so they can brag a little bit.”