Freshman safety Ian Simon 6'0" 187 took a red-shirt in 2011, and he spent his first season at Missouri playing against Missouri's first and second-team offense as a member of the scout team, helping to prepare Missouri each week for their upcoming opponent.
In December, Simon was able to get some reps in the Missouri defense. He took a few minutes to visit with ShowMeMizzou.com, and he talked about his first season at Missouri, and his goals heading into the spring.
"I'm loving it. It's fun! I'm getting back to playing football, which is what I love to do," said Simon, talking about getting reps in the Missouri defense. "I'm hitting people, running to the ball, making plays, and just being with my teammates. We're having fun!"
Simon talked about how he's been doing on the field.
"I'm getting back into the swing of things," said Simon. "I've made a few plays, made a few nice hits. So, I'm getting back into the swing of things. I'm feeling better about it."
Simon is an athletic, intelligent player in the secondary. He told me that his work in the strength and conditioning program has produced results. He's bigger, stronger, and faster than when he first arrived at Missouri. He emphasized that he's gotten faster, and he said that his vertical jump has increased to 38". He's a big fan of having taken a redshirt.
"Honestly, I think that (red-shirting) is a good thing," explained Simon. "I'm really appreciative of this year off that I got to rest, after eleven straight years of playing, and to get bigger, stronger, and faster. So, next year, when I do hit the field, I'm ready to go. Red-shirting is a great thing!"
Simon talked about making continuous improvement during his time at Missouri.
"I just want to improve every day," said Simon. "Just get better every single day. Work at the little things, back-pedaling, speed drill, all of the things that will make me better."
Simon continued to make a good impression during the bowl practices, and appears to be in position to enter the spring working with the number three defense. Simon is one of the more impressive freshmen, and a player who could very well break into the two-deep for Missouri in 2012.