Coming out of spring football, the starting strong safety for Missouri is Kenronte Walker 6'0" 210. Last season, Walker came on at the end of the season, and he came into the spring at the top of the Depth Chart. Near the end of spring ball, the senior took time to visit with ShowMeMizzou.com, and he talked about the spring, and his development.
"I'm a senior," said Walker. "So, it's what is expected from the coaches and from myself. I want to be the number one safety, and to get better, to help the team out. I'm just doing my job."
Walker is the number one safety, and is capable of playing both safety spots.
"Every day in practice, I mean every scrimmage, every practice, you're being evaluated," explained Walker. "It's based off of your scrimmages and performance. Anybody can beat out anybody at any given time. So it's my job just to play the best that I can, to be able to win that spot every single practice, and every single scrimmage."
This is Walker's third season at Missouri, after coming in from junior college. He red-shirted his first year at Missouri, and then began to play more and more last season. Late last season, he moved into the starting line-up. He talked about the time he spent in the off-season.
"You've got to do everything," said Walker. "You know what I mean? Watching the film, extra weights, extra running, and everything else, meeting with the coaches to learn the defense. It's all a part of it if you want to be a great player, and a great safety."
Walker reported the results from his off-season testing. He measures 6'0" and weighed in at 210 pounds. He reported a 40 time of 4.46 seconds, and a 37" vertical jump. He also had 22 reps at 225 pounds.
This spring, Walker is a better safety than he was last season.
"I'd say I a learned a lot more (since last season), and I got a lot more confidence," explained Walker. "That's basically all it was, really. I've got more confidence, and more knowledge of the safety position, and more knowledge of the defense."
Walker's forte has been that of coming up strong at the line of scrimmage and forcing the run. One thing he accomplished this spring was improvement in his pass coverage. I asked him what had gone into the improvement in his coverage skills?
"Just really understanding the routes, understanding who's in front of me, and understanding my position really," replied Walker. "You know, just understanding the quarterback's eyes, and the quarterback's shoulders, and just really understanding my job, that I'm a safety, and I can't let anybody get behind me. And, just actually, trying to make plays on the ball."
Walker explained his goals for this off-season, and the upcoming season.
"Getting better every day, and improving at the safety position," explained Walker, describing his personal goals going forward. "I want to show to you all, and to my coaches and my teammates, that I'm an every down player, you know what I mean, an every down safety. And, not only be able to come up for the run, but to be able to show that I can cover, and be able to play the deep ball, and be able to make plays on the ball."