July 22, 2008

Media day notes: Heisman hype times two

KANSAS CITY, MO--After a few games last season, Chase Daniel quickly found his name brought up around Heisman talk. With his team poised to make another run at the Big 12 Title and possibly a national championship, there is no doubt that Daniel will be facing Heisman questions from the beginning this season.

"A lot of different things have to go right," Daniel said. "I look at the Heisman as a team award. I can't get to New York without my receivers, offensive line, and without our team winning a lot of games. It's a great opportunity for the university, but it has to perfect for it to happen."

One player who has also had his name thrown in the Heisman talk is sophomore Jeremy Maclin. And why not? After turning in one of the best freshman years in NCAA history, Maclin was named a first-team all-American. During media day, Maclin did his best to deflect the notion of winning the Heisman.

"It's nice to have people recognize you for what you do. Personally, I think Chase deserves it. He is my quarterback; I cannot be successful without him. I am going to do my part to help him reach that goal," Maclin said.

When asked whether he thought he was the best quarterback in the nation, Daniel answered without hesitation.

"Of course. What I am going to say, no? I think I am, but it's a hard question to answer."

Don't Overlook the Defense

With one of the best offenses in the country, it would be easy to overlook the Missouri defense. Most of the questions for William Moore seemed to be directed at this issue. Moore seemed confident that the defense was ready for any challenge.

"We upped our game and have new strategies as far as keeping 11 people around the ball," Moore said. "Going up against guys like Maclin and Daniel in practice makes all us better because we can notice what we're doing wrong and fix it."

The Tigers look to have an improved defense from last year, returning 10 of the 11 starters from the Cotton Bowl. They did, however, lose one of the leaders of the defense when Lorenzo Williams graduated. Moore said he expects the defense to be great this season.

"I probably said it last year and the year before, but I know what kind of guys we got and they are a bunch of workhorses," Moore said. "We got guys at every position who want to win."

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