Draft buzz around Missouri junior defensive end Shane Ray has intensified, from the preseason to date, as much as any college prospect in the SEC. One of the things that can kill momentum like that is the degree to which a player's head coach vouches for him in conversations with NFL personnel executives.
But based on Tigers coach Gary Pinkel's comments Monday, Ray will get at least one rave review in that regard. Pinkel called Ray one of the five most competitive players he has ever coached, according to Gabe DeArmond of powermizzou.com. For a guy who has been a college assistant or head coach since 1976, that's a mouthful for Pinkel.
To give you an idea of the types of competitive stars Pinkel has coached, here's a peek at which four players might join Ray on Pinkel's list: