Missouri's Kony Ealy frustrated Texas A&M's Jake Matthews
Getting under Jake Matthews' skin isn't an easy task.
The former Texas A&M left tackle and soon-to-be first-round NFL draft pick keeps an even keel on the field and frustrates opponents with every tool a pass protector needs: size, athleticism and technique. But on the last night of college football's regular season last year, it was Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy doing the frustrating.
"There was a lot of trash-talking," Ealy said, according to stltoday.com. "Both of us. And that's not like him, so I took him out of his comfort zone."
Ealy's stat line against the Aggies was strong if not spectacular (four tackles, one for loss, and a quarterback hurry), but he played well enough to draw Matthews' praise when asked about his toughest assignment.
"I thought Kony Ealy was really good at Missouri," Matthews said. "Real aggressive. Big and strong. Mixed up his pash-rush moves real well."
Helping Ealy through months of pre-draft preparation has been his cousin, former Missouri defensive tackle and current New York Jet Sheldon Richardson.
"Sheldon's been great," Ealy said. "He's been kind of a big brother, mentor to me, just trying to help me through this process -- not knowing what to expect."