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Missouri’s secondary will be crowded, uncertain, and fascinating in 2017

The first of two major end-of-year visit weekends for Mizzou came and went; it was an odd one in that only one uncommitted player (Tyree Gillespie) visited with a batch of commits ... and, of course, he ended up committed as well.

There will be plenty of visit recap pieces from various recruiting services in the coming days — B&G Illustrated caught up with Aubrey Miller ($), for instance — but we generally know how those pieces go. I did, however, want to note that in PowerMizzou’s Gillespie interview ($), he distinctly says that he’s likely to play safety. And while this is a line that you hear quite a bit, he thinks he has a chance to contribute as a true freshman.

I have no idea if he actually will or not, but seeing the quote reminded me just how much of a logjam Mizzou will have in the defensive backfield next year — a logjam full of intriguing players and prospects and almost no sure things whatsoever.

As things currently stand (with more roster turnover sure to come), here’s what Mizzou will bring into action in 2017:

Returning Cornerbacks

  • Logan Cheadle (Sr.)
  • DeMarkus Acy (So.)
  • Christian Holmes (So.)
  • Anthony Hines (Sr.)
  • Finis Stribling IV (Jr.)

Returning Safeties

  • Thomas Wilson (Sr.)
  • Anthony Sherrils (Sr.)
  • Cam Hilton (Jr.)
  • Ronnell Perkins (So.)
  • Tavon Ross (Jr.)
  • Jerod Alton (RSFr.)

Returning Corner/Safety/Nickel/???

  • T.J. Warren (So.)

Newly Eligible Transfer

  • Kaleb Prewett (Jr.)

Incoming Freshmen

  • Terry Petry (likely corner)
  • Adam Sparks (likely corner)
  • Jordan Ulmer (likely safety)
  • Tyree Gillespie (likely safety)
  • Joshuah Bledsoe (?)

To summarize, that’s seven players with a decent amount of first-string experience (including Prewett), four intriguing sophomores, and five incoming freshmen. As many as probably nine to 11 players could end up in the starting lineup without surprising me all that much. Warren could end up at corner, safety, or, hell, linebacker without surprising me too much.

(Oh yeah, and we’ll find out about who the new cornerbacks coach is after National Signing Day.)

This is either a mess or an embarrassment of riches. I guess it’s up to Mizzou to prove the latter and not the former.

But seriously, name your two starting safeties here. I glance at the list once and come up with Wilson-Sherrils. Then I glance again and come up with Prewett-Perkins. And then Hilton-Sherrils. I have no idea.

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