September 1, 2007

Tiger notebook: A dazzling debut

As he stepped on the turf at the Edward Jones Dome for the first time in 13 years, Jeremy Maclin admitted there were some nerves. But, the redshirt freshman receiver from Kirkwood insisted, they didn't last long.

"Right after the opening kickoff," Maclin said. "I was like 'I can do this.'"

Yes, he can.

Maclin was a smashing success in his Tiger debut that had been nearly a year in the making. He had 29 yards on a reverse the first time he touched the ball. He made two catches for 43 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown. And, most memorably, he took a punt 66 yards untouched for a TD that gave Missouri a 37-13 lead.

"It was a blessing," Maclin said. "I missed all last season and I was just ready to get back out there and do what I did."

Maclin came to Columbia as a four-star prospect in the Class of 2006. But he missed his entire freshman year rehabbing torn ligaments in his knee and had to wait until Saturday to open his Tiger career. Consider the debut a success.

"He's a pretty effective player, isn't he?" Gary Pinkel deadpanned.

The Tigers also indicated Maclin would crack the starting lineup in the second game of his career. Starter Danario Alexander is out at least four weeks with a dislocated wrist suffered in the fourth quarter.



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