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Mizzou’s Martez Manuel impresses coaches following the season opener

COLUMBIA, Mo (KMIZ)

Rock Bridge alum, Martez Manuel, started his first game as a Mizzou Tiger on Saturday versus the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

In that start, Manuel notched seven tackles, with 3.5 of those for a loss

The sophomore said he studied up on Alabama before hitting Faurot Field.

"Being in the film room, watching Alabama's games from last year and Tennessee's too, just to see what players do to give stuff away earlier," he said. "Just preparing mentally, not having a lot of stress on me, and stretching, and just preparing like I did for any game."

Defensive coordinator Ryan Walters said there is a lot of shaking off the rust in any week one matchup, but added that he was impressed with Manuel's performance overall.

"The focal point of our conversations has been, 'we don't need you to do anything special, just do your job,'" he said. "That's what he did. He didn't try to do anything extra and he was able to make plays when they came to him."

More than that, Walters said that he is grateful to have a man like Manuel on his team and on his defense.

"He is grateful and appreciative of every relationship and every resource that's available to him here. He's competitive and he wants the world for his family, so I think that drives him to work hard. He does, he works hard on and off the field," he said.

You can watch the full interview with Ryan Walters in the video player below.

Manuel already said he is putting the Alabama game behind him and focusing on what's ahead: the Tennessee Volunteers.

We also spoke with special teams coordinator Erik Link. You can watch the full interview in the video player below.

College Sports / Mizzou Football / Mizzou Tigers
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Nathalie Jones

Nathalie anchors and reports sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.

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