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.
Tiger defensive backs have been big on reliability but short on impact talent. It’s time to see how they stack up and who comes out on top!
So, this was an interesting vote! Only Braylon Webb and Kenji Jackson were able to get more than one vote in the first round. This echoes what has been said countless time on this website: Missouri’s defensive back tradition is really not that strong. Plenty of recognizable, good names; very few standout elite talents.
Even then, when tasked to pick between the two, the Masthead came to a 4-3 vote. Braylon Webb was a nice, reliable safety on this early 2010s teams, peaking right as the Tigers won their second consecutive SEC East crown in 2014. But the winner, by the thinnest of margins of this year’s voting, was Kenji Jackson.
Jackson never really was the “star” of any of the defenses he played on, but he always seemed to make an impact. If you’ve followed this series of All-State teams, one of the things that is noticeable about a lot of the guys on the teams is that a lot of them forced their way into playing time early in their careers.
Jackson was one of the guys who forced his way onto the field as a freshman, and then never left it.
He played in all thirteen games and actually made four starts to end the 2008 season. At the end of the year, the true freshman out of Mansfield, TX was the 7th leading tackler on a defense that included Ziggy Hood, Sean Weatherspoon and William Moore.
After a solid year in 2009, Kenji became one of the leaders of the defense and elevated his play to a large degree. In this stretch, he tallied 142 tackles, 9 tackles for loss and five interceptions. He also earned an Honorable Mention nod on the 2011 All-Big 12 list. That level of production would be something that you could pretty much count on from Jackson on an every game basis.
Team Texas is just about filled, but there’s a certain guy who might be able to make this team just a little bit more... Special.
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