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.
Missouri’s linebacking corps is flush with familiar names and a few legendary performers. It’s time to see how they stack up and who comes out on top!
Throughout this week, we’ve had a look at some of the best linebackers in Mizzou history and both Team Missouri and Team USA have had some really interesting choices to choose from.
Team Texas is no exception. When you look at careers like Nick Bolton, Zaviar Gooden, Will Ebner or Donavin Newsome, the one thing that stands out is that there is a lot of production here. All were good to great players at Mizzou and were for the most part under-ranked kids who developed into contributors.
In my opinion, though, there is no linebacker in Mizzou history who was quite like Sean Weatherspoon.
Like a lot of the players who’ve made these All-State teams, Weatherspoon came to Missouri as a two-star recruit out of Jasper, TX and was one of only four players to immediately see playing time. He was a star on special teams and was actually awarded the team’s Special Teams Player of the Year in 2006.
From 2007 to 2009, though, Weatherspoon was a wrecking ball for those Missouri defenses. He managed to finish with First Team All-Conference honors all three years, and was a Second Team all-American in 2008. Opponents couldn’t do anything on offense without accounting for Weatherspoon, who was a tackling machine. Not only was he just a great player on the field, but he was a leader and the heart and soul of that defense. Spoon elevated those defenses in a special way.
Weatherspoon would’ve been one of those guys who could capitalize handsomely if name, image and likeness rules were around back then. He was great player, but was also a good interview and had a nickname that would’ve driven a lot of interest. Think about the ‘Spoon merchandise that could’ve been had. (editor’s note: is it too late to make it now?)
At this point, Team Texas is starting to take shape. We have a lot of underrated, battle-tested guys. I think the biggest thing that stands out to me is just the growth that each player went through during their time at Missouri. Each came in somewhat unheralded and worked ridiculously hard to get to the point where they could be considered among the best players in school history. There’s a lot to like about this team.
Follow me on Twitter @iAirDry!