COLUMBIA — The second day of Missouri fall camp has a different feel than the first.
Instead of practicing at 3:45 p.m., players trudge out onto the practice field behind Dan Devine Pavilion shortly after 7 a.m.
On Thursday, the first day of camp was festive. Players were voting for captains, reuniting with coaches and teammates, singing along to the practice playlist as it blasted over the sound system.
Friday's practice is quieter. "Hold Me Back" by Rick Ross, a more serious tune, is playing over the speakers as the team stretches. But unlike Thursday, nobody is singing along. Assistant coaches shout out instructions that cut through the morning silence. The grind has begun.
It feels like football again. The conditioning tests are completed, results recorded. The first-practice nerves are out of the way. The pace quickens.
Camp is just two days old, but the players are already getting into a rhythm. The early start to practice is a welcome escape from the afternoon heat. Friday's low temperatures and rain are a relief.
"Probably the best day we're going to have all summer," wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham says with a laugh.
Thursday, it was the weather wearing the players down. Friday, the coaches do the honors, spending extra time on conditioning at the conclusion of practice.
Dampened by rain, the players head toward the locker room and the ice baths are more populated than they were Thursday.
Two-a-days aren't in coach Gary Pinkel's plans for fall camp this season. He wants the team healthy and fresh for the grueling schedule in the Southeastern Conference.
"I love it," cornerback E.J. Gaines said. "It says a lot about what coach Pinkel stands for."
But that doesn't mean practice is any less or physical or demanding, Pinkel says. Two days in, his players believe him.
"That's what camp is for," Gaines said.
From this point on, it's all football all the time. Even without afternoon practice, meetings fill the schedule. When the players aren't occupied by football activities, they're spending time with one another, as a team.
Still, the Tigers have only just begun.
"It really starts when pads go on," tight end Sean Culkin said.
Supervising editor is Greg Bowers.