2013 Mizzou Walkthrough: Who backs up Webb at free safety?

Bill Carter

The top three safeties on the totem pole are clear. After that? Depends on the day.

Daniel Easterly

#4 | 6'4, 215, Jr. | Detroit, MI

2011: 10 games, 6.5 tackles

Bill C.: His name pops up in the practice reports from time to time, and off the field he is clearly a thoughtful, interesting guy. But like Xavier Smith (another member of the 2010 recruiting class) at cornerback, Easterly's problem seems to be that there's always somebody better. Braylon Webb and Ian Simon both passed him on the safety hierarchy in years past, and players like Cortland Browning and, now that he's in uniform, Duron Singleton could be doing the same. Easterly is big and interesting and, from what we've seen in scrimmages, pretty competent; that he's struggled to see even the second string says Mizzou's safety depth might be pretty solid, but it's got to be frustrating for Easterly himself.

The Beef: We just keep waiting for Easterly to see the field as the tallest secondary player in recent (or longer) memory. As a junior behind Ian Simon and Matt White, it does not seem to be in the cards beyond perhaps special teams and mop up duty.

Bill C.: Seriously, at some point (probably in mop-up duty versus Murray State), Mizzou could field a lineup with 6'2, 210 Ernest Payton at corner and 6'4, 215 Easterly at safety.

countrycal: When Daniel came on board I was hoping to see him really get it together. A big, strong safety is fun to watch. Daniel is going to have to ratchet it up a notch or two if that is to happen.

Cortland Browning

#5 | 6'1, 205, So. | Tyler, TX

2012: 3 games, 0.5 tackles

Bill C.: When Browning committed pretty early in the 2011 class, the rumble was that Mizzou's staff really liked him and was going to have to work extra hard to make sure his commitment stuck as other, bigger schools came after him. And we saw his name in practice reports quite a bit early on as well. But the myth has exceeded the production to date. Still, there's plenty of time for him to become a quality piece in the Tiger secondary.

The Beef: Right now, Browning is the #2 behind Webb at the FS spot, so he is bound to see some time. Also, it is at this point that I realized there is not a single person on this list who is from the state of Missouri. Strange.

countrycal: It sure is gratifying to see the talent that is developing among the younger players. As they compete for playing time, and then get it, it just makes our team stronger this year and even stronger next year.

Chaston Ward

#13 | 6'1, 205, RSFr. | Cleburne, TX

The Beef: Ward may not quite be ready after his RS year, but it is never a bad thing if someone like him comes from out of nowhere to surprisingly push for playing time.

Bill C.: The former Chaston Cuffee generated a decent amount of buzz in last fall camp, but yeah, it appears he'll have to wait his turn at this point.

Duron Singleton

#2 | 6'1, 210, Jr. | New Orleans, LA

The Beef: Singleton was a late arrival to campus, but he did arrive. Word is he is pretty solid. How solid is anyone’s guess. Needless to say, if you are a JUCO, there is added pressure on you to perform right away since you only typically have half the time to make a meaningful impact.

Bill C.: As his position coach Alex Grinch said a few days ago, Singleton passed his physicals but is still trying to work into "football shape" after missing the first couple of weeks of camp with transcript issues. A lot is expected of Singleton, but he probably won't be ready to work his way into the rotation until after the season has begun at this point. And if I remember right, he doesn't have a redshirt year remaining, either; he'll play this year, even if it takes him a while.

Shaun Rupert

#19 | 6'1, 185, Fr. | Montgomery, AL

The Beef: Really? Shaun Rupert is from Montgomery, AL? That is interesting to me for some reason. I like seeing that he is 6’2. I imagine I wont know much more about him when I repeat this exercise this time next year.

Bill C.: And that's the type of hard-hitting analysis you've come to expect from Rock M Nation, folks.

(I've got nothing better to contribute here other than "I like that Mizzou was able to find a pretty interesting guy from a new region late in the recruiting process," so I'll just make fun of Beef instead.)

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