Missouri had a special visitor make the journey to Columbia last Wednesday.
He isn’t an alum, or even a former standout college athlete, but you might know Marcus Luttrell by another name: Lone Survivor
The Navy SEAL, the subject of a New York Times best-selling book and movie Lone Survivor, gave the Tigers a bye-week speech as a favor to former Mizzou great L’Damian Washington. The two met while Washington was training for the 2014 NFL Draft in Pensacola, Fla, according to the school website.
Luttrell addressed the team for nearly half an hour, telling stories and relating a message of brotherhood to the Tigers.
“The only thing that matters is your ability to stand right here beside me. That’s the truest form of life. Nothing else matters. That’s why I talked to them today ,” Luttrell said, according to the school website. “You walk through hell with somebody long enough man, you can’t pull them apart … You throw that jersey on and that helmet comes on, that individuality is gone. You have now blessed everyone on the team with what you got. That’s your part.”
In what has been a roller coaster season for Mizzou, the message couldn’t have come at a better time as the Tigers prepare to move forward without junior quarterback Maty Mauk, who was suspended for the remainder of the season last Sunday. The Tigers also need two wins in their final four games to reach bowl eligibility.
Senior linebacker Clearance Green was especially touched by the Luttrell’s words.
“I was just hearing all the adversity that he was talking about that when things hit the fan in the Navy, you have to look at your partner to your left and look at him to the right like ‘come on, get your head up’ and that’s what we needed to hear,” Green said. “Sometimes you have to apply it to football. We need to look at each other and say ‘let’s get it up and go back to the Mizzou way.”
The university released a video of Luttrell’s time with the Tigers on Tuesday, and it’s a must-see.
Green and the rest of the Tigers will look to end a three-game skid on Thursday when they host No. 24 Mississippi State.