COLUMBIA — Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel has a policy when it comes to talking about the NFL future of his players during the season. He doesn’t talk about it.
But just because Pinkel is hush-hush about the professional potential on the Tigers’ roster doesn’t mean others aren’t taking notice. The Senior Bowl named six Missouri players to its annual watch list, which includes more than 400 players trying to fill 110 roster spots between the North and South teams in the annual postseason all-star game.
Justin Britt, offensive tackle
James Franklin, quarterback
E.J. Gaines, cornerback
Marcus Lucas, wide receiver
L'Damian Washington, wide receiver
Andrew Wilson, linebacker
Quarterback James Franklin, wide receivers Marcus Lucas and L’Damian Washington, offensive tackle Justin Britt, linebacker Andrew Wilson and cornerback E.J. Gaines were named to the watch list along with 66 other players from the Southeastern Conference.
Missouri had two players drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, and the SEC as a whole had 63 players selected, 33 more than any other conference.
"As soon as we moved to the SEC, you can see the respect they give you," Gaines said. "It's definitely exciting to see people playing in the same conference as you playing at the next level."
Linebacker Zaviar Gooden, who was drafted in the third round by the Tennessee Titans, was Missouri’s lone Senior Bowl participant following the 2012 season. Five Tigers were named to the 2012 preseason watch list.