Are you a tall cornerback with remaining college football eligibility? If so, you might as well send your film to the Mizzou coaching staff! Because the Tigers are falling in love with tall corners right about now.
I’m someone who appreciates a staff with a plan. My biggest frustration throughout the Kim Anderson era for Mizzou basketball wasn’t the losing (even though it was infuriating). It was the lack of a plan to get the program back on track. There was no vision for what the future of the program would look like.
That does not appear to be a problem for the current Mizzou football coaching staff. At least not at the cornerback position.
Late last week Mizzou received a commitment from 3-star cornerback Zxaequan Reeves out of Cocoa, Florida. Reeves is the third known cornerback to commit to the Tigers for the 2021 class.
All three of them are at least 6-foot-1.
Mizzou took one cornerback commit last year: Ennis Rakestraw. He was 6-foot tall. The 2019 class included six defensive back commits. Fiver were at least 6-foot-1. The other, Chris Shearin, is listed at 5-foot-11.
It doesn’t stop there.
In total, 16 of Mizzou’s 20 defensive back commits since 2016 have been at least 6-foot tall. Seven of the 10 cornerback commits since 2016 are listed at 6-foot or taller. Among the three cornerback commits under the 6-foot threshold, two have already transferred.
Mizzou has a type.
The Tigers’ defensive staff likes long corners. And they’re far from alone on that island. Long cornerbacks became a trend in the NFL led (in part) by the Seattle Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” secondary that included Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner & Byron Maxwell among others. The Seahawks viewed tall corners as a necessity to play their style of defense. It appears the Tigers staff feels the same way.
There are pros and cons to having significant thresholds for recruits.
Let’s start with the negative, and it’s pretty obvious: Having a threshold could eliminate any number of quality players you could otherwise recruit. That could be an issue down the road. But I suspect the staff is more than willing to make an exception to the rule if the right player comes along.
The positives, in my opinion, outweigh the negatives.
First of all, height can serve as a strong filter for the staff to find players who fit what they want the defense to look like. By filtering out players who don’t fit the team’s height/weight/speed thresholds, Mizzou can find the players most likely to maximize the staff’s scheme. Mizzou’s defensive staff under Ryan Walters clearly believes the best way to maximize the scheme is with long corners on the outside and rangy safeties playing deep in order to utilize the front seven in a variety of ways.
Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” The Tigers coaching staff knows where it’s going and how to get there.
I’ll always appreciate a man with a plan.
TL;DR: Mizzou’s coaches are basically the Saint Motel song “My Type” when it comes to tall cornerbacks.