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Missouri’s Michael Scherer is as reliable as you need a MLB to be

The senior from St. Louis almost never left the field in 2015 and became quite a play-maker in the process.

Michael Scherer Derrick Forsythe (Rock M Nation)

Michael Scherer

6’3, 235, Sr.

St. Louis, MO
2015: 70.0 tackles, 9 TFLs, 3 PBU
2014: 83.5 tackles, 3.5 TFLs (1 sack), 1 PBU, 1 FF
2013: 5.0 tackles, 1 TFL

davidcmorrison: Scherer’s going to be one of those that I think Missouri coaches, fans (and definitely writers) will miss a whole lot when he’s gone. Coaches have always been high on his potential, even when he was waiting his turn behind Andrew Wilson. The media recognized his value from, basically, the first time he did a group interview.

The fans, it seems, have been a little less bullish on Scherer during his career. He was the chosen one when Wilson was around and then, as soon, as he seized the starting role, it seemed a very vocal minority wanted anyone but him as starter.

Never really understood that. And, hopefully after two years of Scherer starting, not many people feel that way anymore.

For one, he’s consistent. He doesn’t leave the field. He played nearly 98 percent of Missouri’s snaps last year. For two, he’s productive. He’s made 207 solo and assisted tackles over 26 games as a starter, or 7.96 per. He’s 133 tackles from breaking into the Tigers’ career top 10 list and — while that would be a career high as a senior -- it’s not out of the question. And he handled new job assignments with aplomb last year, attacking downfield more and upping his tackles for loss to 9.0 from 3.5.

For three, he’s a galvanizer. He’s a very capable face and voice of the team and he seems to gel well with players from all segments of the team.

These are the skills you need out of a senior leader, especially one that anchors one of the best defenses in the country.

Yeah, he’s not the perfect middle linebacker. But he’s a really good one.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Snelling: Scherer has enormously high expectations heaped upon him this year from fans, the media, and himself. The third-year starter and the Sundance Kid to Kentrell Brothers’ Butch Cassidy for two years has the reins of expectation all to himself this go around.

The good news for Scherer is that he’ll be joined by a talented and deep group of linebackers who should be able to provide a lot of assistance. But regardless of who is on the outside, Scherer is the leader of this defense and the guy Missouri coaches are expecting to be anywhere when he is needed.

Scherer is quick to diagnose plays and has good speed, so he’s able to plug up running lanes to allow his outside linebacking teammates to clean up a lot of messes. In the past he’s had one of Missouri’s historically best tacklers to clean things up, but the question this year is whether Donavin Newsom, Joey Burkett, and others will be able to be as sure-handed at the point of attack as Brothers.

Another thing I like about Scherer: He’s unafraid to subtweet Rock M Nation writers.

Bill C.: From the great quotes to the subtweeting, he indeed has a personality a little bit different than anyone else.

Succeeding Wilson was pretty tough, as Wilson had become such a fan favorite and integral piece with his hard hitting in the middle. I don’t think Scherer packs quite the same punch, but he’s a smoother athlete and has become awfully well-rounded during his time in Columbia.

I’m curious how much his role changes this year. He was a little less “tackling machine” and a little more of an attacker in 2015, perhaps in part because Kentrell Brothers was covering the entire damn field so well. Without his all-encompassing presence, is Scherer asked to play it a bit safer? Or is he just turning into a good enough linebacker that the disruptive plays weren’t due to aggressive tactics at all? Might he become a 100-tackle guy and a 10- or 15-TFL guy?

NCAA Football: SEC Media Day Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports