Mizzou’s spring football session has remained mostly quiet so far — and that’s a very good thing considering what generally constitute a ‘not quiet’ spring — but a series of recent articles piqued my curiosity.
I’ve been talking a lot this offseason about the incredible tossup that is the Mizzou secondary. There are basically three cornerbacks and five safeties with a chance to start, and the nickel back position (and its use) could go in about four different directions. I’m mostly optimistic about the possibilities here, but the pure uncertainty has been interesting. It’s almost impossible to predict who might end up starting, especially at safety.
Naturally, then, I’m going to ask you to predict who ends up starting in the secondary.
But first, the aforementioned links.
After experimenting with pass-only responsibilities at the position last season, Mizzou switched back to a style and system that involves its cornerbacks in the run game as they force and contain players on the edge.
Odom said he’s “very impressed” with Cheadle’s leadership among the cornerbacks this spring, which isn’t a surprise as he stares down his final college season. [...]
“I put everything I’ve had into this program for three years, so I think it’s time for me to just let it all shine this year,” he said. “That’s what I’m planning to do.”
[Demarkus] Acy has worked with the first-team defense since the start of spring practices as Missouri must replace both starting senior cornerbacks from last year’s 4-8 team. [...]
At 6-2 and 195 pounds, Acy has the prototype frame for what second-year Missouri coach Barry Odom envisions for the position. So, too, does 6-1, 195-pound sophomore Christian Holmes, who also earned playing time as a true freshman last fall. Penton, listed at 5-10 last year, led the SEC with 17 passes defended (five interceptions, 12 deflections) but occasionally got exposed against taller receivers on jump balls. The same was true for the 6-foot Gibson, who otherwise had his best season with three interceptions.
“That’s the way we’re starting to recruit at that spot and the way we’re playing. (With) the things we’re asking them to do defensively we want a bigger body,” Odom said. “I don’t just want to get a guy there be cause’s he’s big. He’s got to be able to do the things we need coverage-wise.”
“His confidence is getting through the roof,” defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross said Tuesday after MU's fourth practice of spring camp. “Ronnell is having a really good spring so far.”
Perkins, a sophomore from St. Louis, was listed with Cam Hilton as the first-string safeties on the depth chart Missouri released before spring camp.
Veterans like Cheadle, Thomas Wilson, and Anthony Sherrils have been working their way toward making huge senior-year contributions, but right now none of them are listed as starters. Instead, you’re looking at sophomores Acy, Holmes, and Perkins and a junior in Cam Hilton. But what role will the nickel play (and who will play it)? And how quickly does Kansas State transfer Kaleb Prewett make up ground?
There’s a lot to be decided, and I’m not even completely sure what assumptions to make. So I thought I’d query the wisdom of the crowds. If you don’t mind, fill out this Google form. I want to see where people’s heads are at regarding who the top names in the secondary are.
I’ll report back.
- Drew Lock is confident and ready for an encore in a system that could produce absurd yardage in the right hands.
- Former Mizzou starting linebacker Michael Scherer talked to the good folks at KTGR about his recovery from knee surgery, pro prep, etc.
I have three years of, or two and half really, good years of film in the SEC. So I have that. The reason why I am able to still be doing this is because of that film. They see that and now what I have to do is prove that I am getting better and that I am on a fast path to getting better. I need to prove I am who I was pre-injury. They need to know that this isn’t something that is going to stop me. I think with Pro Day, just going out there and participating and being able to step on the field and compete at something, it will be exactly 4 and a half months on that day, that is going to say a lot. After, I’ll meet with the teams that are interested and we’ll go from there. It’s a good thing for me that I can, you know, go sit in a classroom and talk football. I can talk football all day long. It doesn’t matter what you throw at me, so that will help a lot.