FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Future Missouri Tiger, defensive end Michael Keck is toughing it out.
In fact, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Keck has been doing that since week seven of his senior season. That's when the Harrisonville, Mo., defender tore his MCL and dislocated his kneecap. That didn't stop him from coming back for the majority of the playoffs and to the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl scheduled for Jan. 4.
"This is toughing it out," Keck said. "It's healing and I've been trying to do some pushups just to keep in shape for this game. I'm not having surgery or anything and I'm just doing what I can to play the best I can."
Heading to Missouri next year, there is still no doubt in Keck's mind where he belongs. One could say his heart belongs to the Tigers.
Keck says that the location and his relationship with the coaching staff there helped make his decision an easy one.
"I just feel comfortable with the people in the program," Keck said. "Coach (Gary) Pinkel and all the coaches that recruited me are great people. Plus, in Columbia I'm close to home and my grandma can come see me play."
Regardless of having to travel early to Fort Lauderdale for player check-in, he still managed to catch the Tigers' bowl game against Oregon State Friday evening.
The way it ended was tough for Keck to see, but he says he's going to bring what's needed for the Tigers to get to the next level.
"Missouri plays hard and I'm going to bring more of that," Keck said. "Hopefully I can bring some heart too and bring it all the time. That's how I play – it never stops.
"Basically, I just want to get better as a football player. Obviously coming in and playing is the goal too."