As the Missouri Tigers prepare for fall camp, ShowMeMizzou.com continues our Preseason Position Previews with a look at the Mizzou secondary.
As pointed out in our linebacker preview, Coach Pinkel and many others recognize that Missouri’s back seven is the most athletic those positions have been at Missouri during Coach Pinkel’s tenure.
Earlier this year, Coach Pinkel had stated, “I think the perimeter of our defense is probably as fast and as athletic as we’ve ever had.”
To begin with, Missouri returns three of their four starters from last year. And the new guy may very well be the most athletic player on the team. He’s without question the fastest player to line up at safety for Coach Pinkel’s Tigers.
Another fifth-year senior, Cortland Browning, is listed behind Sherrils. Although Browning hasn’t played a lot during his time at Missouri, he’s another very talented guy with very good size and speed at the safety position.
To begin Fall Camp, it’s likely that two more very talented and athletic youngsters will line up behind Simon. One of those, sophomore Thomas Wilson, played last year as a true freshman, at the nickel position, as well as on special teams. By season’s end, I thought he was Missouri’s best nickel back.
The other one, red-shirt freshman Tavon Ross, missed a lot of practice time last fall and again this spring. But this fall, the very talented Ross begins Fall Camp listed on the two-deep, and he appears to be well-positioned to compete for playing time.
Missouri returns nearly all of their corners from a year ago. Some observers think that Missouri’s starting corners, senior Kenya Dennis and junior Aarion Penton, are the best pair of corners in the Southeastern Conference. They won’t get an argument from me.
Behind that pair of quality starters is another pair of quality, experienced corners, in sophomore Logan Cheadle and junior John Gibson. And behind them is another pair of very talented young corners, in red-shirt freshman Finis Stribling and true freshman T.J. Warren, each of whom provides quality competitive depth at this critical and extremely demanding position.
So for the Tigers, there’s not only some very high level players atop the Depth Chart at both corner and safety, but there’s also quality depth behind them at both positions.
Here’s kind of what the Depth Chart might look like in the secondary as the Tigers head into Fall Camp:
7 Kenya Dennis 6’0” 200 (S)
1 John Gibson 6’0” 190 (J)
31 Finis Stribling 5’11” 180 (RSF)
29 DeAndre McKenzie 6’1” 195 (S)
11 Aarion Penton 5’10” 190 (J)
28 Logan Cheadle 5’10” 180 (So)
9 T.J. Warren 5’11” 190 (F)
46 Trei Walton 5’10” 190 (S)
22 Anthony Sherrils 6’0” 200 (So)
5 Cortland Browning 6’1” 205 (S)
16 Brock Bondurant 6’2” 215 (J)
12 Dominic Nelson 6’0” 185 (So)
21 Ian Simon 6’0” 195 (S)
8 Thomas Wilson 5’11” 185 (So)
6 Tavon Ross 6’0” 200 (RSF)
33 Cameron Hilton 6’0” 180 (F)