2 safeties not bashful

Sunday, August 10, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:47 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 4, 2008

No, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire aren’t roaming the secondary for the Missouri football team.

This pair, though, is going by the same nickname.

Introducing Missouri’s Bash Brothers: David Overstreet and Nino Williams II.

Williams and Overstreet compete for the starting safety position, but that hasn’t stopped them from fast becoming friends.

Overstreet, a converted quarterback, has been one of the most vocal defensive players since moving to free safety, but he said he thinks of Williams as more of a partner than a competitor.

“That’s my bash brother,” Overstreet said. “We talk to each other and help each other out. He’s like my brother.”

Williams, a transfer from Tyler (Texas) Junior College, is first on the depth chart. He knows the competition for the starting spot will help the Tigers, regardless of the outcome.

“I don’t even look at it as a fight,” Williams said. “I just look at it as us going out and getting better on defense. In terms of who plays when and where, that’s up to the coaches.”

Overstreet, a redshirt freshman, said he has learned much from Williams, a junior college All-American.

“Nino’s got some surprises for people,” Overstreet said. “We’re ready to show some people in Columbia how we do this.”

DOWN BUT NOT OUT: The Tigers got their biggest scare thus far when junior tight end Victor Sesay didn’t get up after senior cornerback Terrence Curry hit him on the west sideline.

Sesay went up for Sonny Riccio’s pass, making the catch before Curry leveled him. On the way down, Sesay banged his right knee, and he didn’t get up for about 10 minutes.

“I didn’t even see him coming,” Sesay said. “When I got in the locker room, I told him, ‘Good hit.’ I just wish I would have seen it.”

Pinkel said injuries such as Sesay’s are one reason the Tigers will monitor tackling until Tuesday’s half scrimmage.

“We always say, ‘Stay on your feet,’ because injuries happen when people go down,” Pinkel said.

After the morning practice, Pinkel said Sesay was fine. During the afternoon fan and media session, Sesay appeared to have recovered.

David Richard, a sophomore running back who transferred from Michigan State, injured his left ankle during the morning workout. Richard, who is not eligible to play for the Tigers this season because of transfer rules, spent the rest of practice on the bench with a red “no contact” jersey and ice on the ankle.

FIGHTIN’ WORDS: A short skirmish broke out between the offensive and defensive lines. The fight started between left guard Tony Palmer and left defensive end Brian Smith, but within seconds several other players were involved.

“Sometimes tempers get a little flared,” Pinkel said. “That’s OK, as long as we keep it under control.”

Sophomore quarterback Brad Smith, who stayed out of the fray, said the Tigers are showing so much emotion so early in the season is a good sign.

“That’s gonna happen,” Smith said. “That’s kind of good to see, but we try to keep it to a minimum so nobody gets hurt. It’s good to have emotion, but you have to be able to control it.”

TIGERS ADD MASS(EY): Brandon Massey, a sophomore transfer from Michigan State, practiced for the first time as a Tiger on Friday. Massey, who will sit out this season because of transfer rules, said he sees great things in Missouri’s future and can’t wait to be involved.

“I’m real excited about getting this Missouri thing going,” Massey said. “It felt real nice to walk out and see the stadium for the first time. I’m ready to get going.”

FAN CLUB: Missouri fans had a chance to meet their favorite players at Memorial Stadium. Players posed for photos and signed autographs from 3 to 5 p.m. Brad Smith, whom about 75 fans greeted as soon as he left the media interview area, was the biggest attraction.

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