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Anthony Sherrils has gone from “fast guy” to one of the SEC’s best safeties

Now he just needs to hold onto another interception or two.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Sherrils

6’0, 200, Jr.

Kansas City, MO
2015: 52.5 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 INT, 6 PBU, 1 FF
2014: 10.5 tackles

davidcmorrison: How fast, exactly, is Anthony Sherrils? The hubbub last spring, after offseason testing, was his reported 4.25-second 40-yard dash. This fall, he’s said he ran a 4.29. Is he getting slower? Doubtful. Are accurate 40 times notoriously difficult to pin down? Definitely.

But I do know one thing. Anthony Sherrils is faster than me. And you. And you. And you. And you. And y...well, maybe not you, Usain Bolt. And he uses that speed well.

Sherrils gets in the vicinity of a lot of players, and he was one of Missouri’s most dependably productive defensive players last year. That led him to a season in which he finished third on the team in tackles (a veritable third Bash Brother, with Michael Scherer and Kentrell Brothers) and played nearly 90 percent of the Tigers’ defensive snaps.

He’s often in the right position, judges angles well and closes with devastating efficiency. He’s got a bit of Aarion Penton in him (one very timely fake field goal interception against five PBUs...and a near-pick against Georgia that might have meant a win) and he’s said he expects this to be his last year on campus. If so, he’d do well to improve in the gamechanging plays area of his game, like Penton.

Because, you know, he’s already really fast.

Sam Snelling: Sherrils is on a short list of Missouri players who has All-SEC potential. His speed is well documented, but Sherrils is also a playmaker. Even if the plays he's been making are more of that almost amazing variety. A few more interceptions, a few more tackles for loss and he’s at the top of performers for SEC safeties. Whether Sherrils gets there this season is anyones guess. But the level of play from the defense will likely depend on guys like Sherrils and Marcel Frazier and Joe Burkett and where they can take it.

Bill C.:

Two years ago, Sherrils was simply a really fast guy. Nobody really knew if he was going to end up at corner or safety, or maybe even receiver. And then he had to deal with the effects of a traumatic car accident. One year ago, he was a special teams dynamo, one of the most noticeable players on the coverage unit.

And this year, Sherrils is evidently the starting strong safety. He's skinny for the position, but he's smart and has the speed to make up for mistakes.

I wrote that in last year’s Walkthrough, and I’m re-sharing it now because holy moly, has Sherrils progressed from unknown to stalwart in a hurry. About 13 months ago, we thought he would be battling Cortland Browning to become starting strong safety opposite Ian Simon; it was not a battle at all. He took the job, then played mostly awesome.

Safety might be the SEC’s most loaded position overall, so it’s going to be hard for Sherrils to stand out on all-conference lists. But he has quickly become one of Mizzou’s most reliable players, and that speed is going to make him stand out to draft scouts, at the very least. As David said, if he holds onto a couple more interceptions this year, he will end up having established himself as one of Missouri’s best recent safeties ... and Mizzou has had quite a few good recent safeties.

Anthony Sherrils vs. UConn Derrick Forsythe (Rock M Nation)