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Who’s the most exciting young talent in the Mizzou secondary?

Eli Drinkwitz has brought in several blue-chippers to aid the secondary. Who is the next to star in black and gold?

Arkansas v Missouri Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

As the 2023 season approaches, we’re asking our football staff to answer a series of questions facing the Mizzou Tigers. Read along to get their takes on who should start, who will shine and who will leave their mark on the season.

We’ve been through this. The Mizzou secondary is pretty damn good.

Heaping copious amounts of praise on this position group has been a regular practice for us this offseason. But, to be honest, much of that praise has been relegated to the trio of Rakestraw, Abrams-Draine and Carlies. In reality, there are a number of young, exciting talents at the back that could have a vital role to play in the team’s success this season.

So we ask...

The veterans get a lot of attention, but the Tigers have a host of young blue-chippers ready to make their mark. Who’s the most exciting young talent in the Mizzou secondary?

Parker Gillam, Beat Writer: My original answer was redshirt freshman Isaac Thompson, but after it was announced that he went down with a season-ending injury, I’ll go with Marvin Burks Jr. His size is hard to always find at the safety spot, and his talent speaks for itself through the tape. He’s already come a long way thus far in camp according to coaches and players, and if he can hunker down and really work on catching up to the pace of play in the SEC, Burks will have a great chance to earn some backup snaps to the elder statesmen of the secondary. Once they all leave, this secondary will be his to command.

Quentin Corpuel, Staff Writer: If we’re picking the young player that gets me the most excited while watching them play football, it’s Daylan Carnell. He’s like if Anthony Peeler was a football player; Carnell’s constantly around the ball, and his highlight plays are like shark attacks. A play will unfold like normal, and all of a sudden BANG! There’s Carnell, flying in for a pass breakup or a huge hit.

Football-wise, Carnell’s high instincts, hard hits and complete absence of fear are reminiscent of former Mizzou superstar DB William “Willy Mo” Moore. While there will never be another Missouri Hammer, perhaps Carnell can be the Missouri...uh...bulldozer? I know that’s a construction vehicle, but there aren’t any other two-plus syllable tools in a toolbox that sound super intimidating. Nevertheless, with Martez Manuel departed for the NFL, I’m excited to see Carnell in an elevated role as the primary STAR on Mizzou’s defense.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Jaden Lewis, Beat Writer: I will go with Marvin Burks Jr. of Cardinal Ritter in St. Louis and Shamar NcNeil of American Heritage in Florida. Both Kris Abrams-Draine, and Daylan Carnell have spoken highly of the two freshmen and their positive progressions throughout the off-season. Burks and McNeil are both two big defensive backs at 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-3. With Mizzou’s defensive backfield already talented, there is no need to rush them to play right away, but in the future, I believe they will both thrive in the Tigers' defense.

We also asked this question to you all earlier this week. While there was quite a bit of love for Marvin Burks Jr., the runaway winner was...

To be honest, that’s who I voted for. We’re rooting for all of you, though!