Ever wondered what a Mizzou team that was comprised of only Missouri kids would look like? Or wonder how good an only-Texan Mizzou squad would do? Well, you’re in luck! This offseason, the Rock M Masthead is assembling the best team of Mizzou players by state that they graduated high school from. We compiled a list of the significant starters on every team from the year 2000 on and voted on the best players at their position group in order to create three “All-State” Mizzou squads: Team Missouri, Team Texas, and Team USA. Over the next nine weeks you’ll read about these Mizzou Greats that hailed from the respective regions and, hopefully, come away impressed with just how good these fictional teams could actually be.
This week features a position with several legendary players: the wide receivers.
Danario Alexander was lightly recruited, to say the least. He was the 1,813rd player in the country and the #318th player in the state of Texas. He had no other listed offers besides Missouri. By the end of his Missouri career, he left as a record holder and one of the best Tiger receivers of all time.
Alexander was the unanimous choice, though I would listen to an argument for J’Mon Moore.
Their production isn’t that different over their careers. In fact, Moore had two 1000 yard seasons to Alexander’s one. Moore has two more career touchdowns as well. The argument for Alexander though, is not purely a statistical one. I think the eye test is a really important tool to apply to a player like Danario Alexander because, when healthy, he was one of the most talented weapons Missouri Football has ever seen. The size, the speed, and the jump ball ability really left you wondering what the defense could do to stop him.
After suffering through injury-plagued ‘07 and ‘08 seasons - in which he compiled 63 catches, 746 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 2 knee surgeries - a healthy Danario burst onto the scene in 2009 and was an instant superstar for that Tigers team. He finished the season with 1,781 yards and 14 TD’s which catapulted him to the top of the single season receiving yards list, and to the top of the career receiving yards list as well. He finished third all time in receiving touchdowns and had the most in one season by a Tiger. Oh, and my personal favorite stat: He is the only player in Missouri history to ever have two games of 200+ yards in one season. Against Kansas and Kansas State.
There’s always the unfortunate conversation of his health, and how his knees couldn’t hold up, but while at Missouri he battled, persevered and overcame a lot in order to get himself in a condition good enough for a season like 2009 to happen. It’s a testament to his work ethic that he was even able to continue playing at that level with so much work done to that left knee of his.
So now, I think the theme for the All-Texas team is heart. A bunch of overlooked guys from Texas - who pressed on through injuries in some cases - in order to make themselves great. I can get behind that.
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