After an impressive spring playing as the starting MLB, Missouri sophomore Andrew Wilson 6'3" 232 4.54 enters fall camp as the starting SLB. Wilson may be better suited for the MLB position, but the Tigers have a pair of returning seniors at MLB with previous starting experience, and last year's starting SLB, Andrew Gachkar, is playing for the San Diego Chargers. Wilson's been making a good showing early in fall camp.
After a recent practice, ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with Wilson, and he talked about transitioning back to the outside.
"You know, in the middle, you're dealing with linemen a lot of the time," explained Wilson. "Outside, you're playing more against wide receivers, and you're playing more in space. That's pretty much the main difference. I played outside my freshman year, so I've done it before, and I've just got to get used to it again."
I asked him which position he prefers, the MLB, or the SLB?
"I like them both," replied Wilson. "I can't say that I don't like the middle a little better. But, I like them both, and I can play both."
Since his arrival at Missouri, Wilson has worked hard in Coach Ivey's strength and conditioning program. And, it has really paid off! Wilson has gained 15 pounds of muscle since his arrival on campus, while reducing his percentage of body fat, and he has gotten stronger, while shaving almost a quarter of a second off of his 40 time. His increased foot speed is evident on the field. It does look like Wilson will play the SLB this year, so his increased foot speed will be very useful playing in space.
Wilson wasn't sure which of the LBs would stay on the field, along with Zaviar Gooden, when Missouri goes to the dime package and substitutes a DB for a LB. He said that he would like to stay on the field.
"I have no idea what Coach Stec will decide to do," said Wilson. "You'll have to ask Coach Stec. I'd love to always be on the field! Always. I never want to come off of the field. But, we'll have to wait and see what happens."
In addition to Wilson and Gooden, it appears that Luke Lambert and Will Ebner are also in the running for a starting job. Lambert has played both the MLB and the SLB during his Missouri career, and Ebner has played mostly at the MLB position.