Senior safety Kenronte Walker 6'0" 210 started 4 games for Missouri last season, and he enters the 2012 season as the Tigers' top safety, along with sophomore Braylon Webb 6'0" 210, who was upgraded to questionable for Saturday's season opener after undergoing recent knee arthroscopy, and who was seen practicing with the first-team defense on Tuesday.
Walker is a big hitter for Missouri, and he can also cover. Near the end of fall camp, Walker took time to speak with ShowMeMizzou.com, and he talked about getting Webb back in there.
"He'll be alright," said Walker, speaking of Webb. "We've been playing together, and communicating together, always being on the same page…………………………………………. It's just a feeling we got."
From what I've seen, Walker and Webb appear to be Missouri's best safety tandem since William Moore and Pig Brown played about half a season together in 2007.
"Braylon Webb is an honorable mention safety last year as a freshman," said Walker, referring to the fact that Webb, who also started four games for the Tigers, was named 2011 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
Like Webb, Walker put in the work during the off-season. And, it shows. He credits Pat Ivey and his staff with preparing him to play.
"The strength staff has just helped us so much," said Walker.
And, he likes to lay the lumber.
"Yes sir! That's part of being a safety," said Walker. "Why not?"
I asked Kenronte Walker what is the biggest challenge of playing in the SEC?
"The big challenge is just to do what your coaches teach you every single day," explained Walker. "What Coach Grinch and Coach Stec and all of the defensive staff teach every single day, and that's to play our keys, our run-pass keys, safety-wise. That's just knowing our role and doing what we've been told and doing our job. That's reading the offensive guard and tackle for pass or run keys. Being over the top, as safeties, we've got pass first anyway. So, we'll trigger down for the run. For the pass, as safeties, we always play pass first."
I asked Walker for his evaluation of this team?
"My team is working hard, and every single day we're going to keep getting better," replied Walker.