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2014 Missouri Walkthrough: Scherer has big shoes to fill

Missouri's Michael Scherer has big shoes to fill in replacing middle linebacker and fullback conqueror Andrew Wilson in the Tigers' 2014 linebacking corps.

Bill Carter

Michael Scherer

6'3, 235, So.

2013: 5.0 tackles, 1 TFL

Bill C.: Honestly, Andrew Wilson might be the trickiest player to replace from last year's defense. While most of the attention has gone to the departures of Michael Sam, Kony Ealy, and E.J. Gaines (and justifiably so), we already know who will be replacing the star ends (more star ends!), and at the very least, Gaines' primary replacements (John Gibson and Aarion Penton) are super-athletic and got their feet pretty wet last year. But aside from a mostly uneventful first half against Indiana (while Wilson was suspended for targeting), we didn't really get a chance to see what Mike Scherer could do. Wilson was an absolute dynamo when it came to standing up SEC fullbacks; he set the bar awfully high for a Mizzou middle linebacker.

Scherer appears to be a bit faster than Wilson (at least to my eye), but Wilson's strength and toughness were perhaps under-appreciated. With loads of experience at tackle and Braylon Webb roaming in the back, the backbone of Mizzou's defense (DT-MLB-SS) could be outstanding, but that hinges on not only competence from Scherer, but quick quality.

countrycal: Michael is one of several promising young linebackers who hopefully are ready to maintain the same level of defensive play to which Tiger fans have become accustomed. Michael began the spring as the starting strongside linebacker, but since has been moved to the starting middle linebacker position. As good as Brothers is, I would not be at all surprised to find Michael getting the most attention before very long in the season. He played in all 14 games last year and has already shown in the spring that he is ready to step into the middle as a starter and leader.

The Beef: I dont think there is much doubt that Scherer is smart enough to QB the defense as the central LB. I think the question is whether or not he has the "it" to do it. Scherer became something of a spring legend previously with his performance and now it becomes a matter of translating that to starting time and effort on the field from Day 1. I like his odds, though it will be interesting to me to watch the mix of physical and speed that he represents and if it is any departure from some of the more recent middle LB’s the Tigers have trotted out.

wooderson: lecher chimeras, cram chiles here