Highlights from the Texas Bowl luncheon
The team luncheon — a staple of bowl week — can occasionally be a dry affair. But the Texas Bowl luncheon on Tuesday was anything but, thanks to a question-and-answer session with players from both teams. Ross Pospisil, Osei Asante, Ricky Dobbs, Wyatt Middleton and Vince Murray represented Navy; for Missouri, wide receiver Danario Alexander, nose tackle Jaron Baston, right guard Kurtis Gregory and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon sat on the dais.
Among the highlights:
-When Dobbs was asked about breaking Tim Tebow's NCAA record for touchdowns scored in a single season by a quarterback, he revealed that he "made a mistake earlier in the season." Dobbs apparently promised the offensive linemen that he would take them to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse if he broke the record. So while breaking the record hasn't really set in for him yet, making the promise--"that definitely has set in."
-Both teams were asked, "In a wrestling match, which coach would win?" And both teams lobbied for their own coach. Said Baston, "Back in the day, [Coach Gary Pinkel] was a hard head." Countered Asante, "Coach [Ken Niumatalolo] is very competitive. He's also Samoan, and that's a pretty strong group." Asante also referenced a video that Niumatalolo showed the team a couple of years ago; in it, Niumatalolo — then a quarterback at Hawaii — threw an interception, and "he clothes-lined that dude afterward," Asante said.
-When the Midshipmen were asked to describe what Niumatalolo is like away from the X's and O's, Dobbs first described the coach as "a very loving individual." He added that he could see Niumatalolo behaving at home like he does at practice; said Dobbs, "if his son is carrying something around, he'll tell him, 'keep it high and tight!' " (That's one of Niumatalolo's favorite sayings at practice.)
-Both teams were asked to predict the BCS championship game. Missouri, naturally, chose Texas; "we play in the Big 12," Weatherspoon said, as the crowd applauded. Navy, however, went with Alabama, drawing boos. "I'm from Georgia," Middleton said. "There's nothing like SEC football."
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