August 12, 2008

Gettis gives Tigers options on defense

At times this week, oberservers at Missouri practice have done a double take. The first-team defense has been on the field and Carl Gettis is nowhere to be seen. No, Gettis isn't hurt. And, no, he hasn't been demoted. Instead, it is part of an experiment the Tigers are trying with the Fort Zumwalt West product.

"He's a corner number one," Gary Pinkel said. "Then we're just trying to play him in the nickel position and he's doing a good job."

The nickel is the position currently held down by senior all-American William Moore. Described by Gettis, "playing the nickel spot, you're like an extra linebacker." Pinkel said after practice on Monday that if the season started today, Gettis would likely be Moore's backup at the position. It is not a commentary on his ability to play corner, but rather a tribute to his versatility.

After proving himself as a second-team freshman all-American cornerback, Gettis says he's happy to take on the new role.

"I'm in my comfort zone now," he said. "Just learning nickel, it ain't going to do anything but just help me out for the long run becoming more physical. Learning how to read offensive tackles and guards more. I'm enjoying it. It's a good thing."

In all likelihood, nickel back is not a spot Gettis will play all that much this season. After all, Moore is one of the best defensive backs in America. As for 2009, well, that could be a different story.

"I don't know, it's a possibility, coach E's talking about it," he said. "I'm just focused on this year now and we'll see what happens."

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