InsideMizzou's look at DB's for 09 class

Want true analyst and not just a projection. InsideMizzou's Erik Johnson goes indepth with each of the signees of the Big 12's Big 3, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas to give his thoughts on each player and how each school did this past recruiting class. In today's edition, Johnson takes a look at the defensive backs.

Missouri – To help a secondary that struggled during parts of the 2008 season, the Tiger coaches added a pair of junior college safeties. In Jarrell Harrison, Missouri gets a 6-foot-2, 210 pound safety out of the City College of San Francisco.

A quarterback in high school, the Tiger coaches are excited about the leadership and knowledge Harrison could bring to the defense. The other junior college safety is Jasper Simmons of Hutchinson County Community College.

Simmons comes in at 6-foot-1, 211 pounds. After watching film on Harrison and Simmons, Simmons looks to be the more athletic player and bigger hitter. However, Harrison is already on campus and is a good athlete in his own respect.

From the high school ranks, the Tigers added cornerback Matt White (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) and safety (possibly) T.J. Moe (6 foot, 180 pounds).

White played safety in high school, but will make the switch over to cornerback once he arrives in Columbia. What stands out the most about White is great ability to make a play on the football when it is in the air.

He is quick out of his cuts and takes great angles when the ball is in the air. White is also not afraid to come and lay the wood on ball carriers despite his slender frame. Another interesting bit of information on White is that he just turned 17 years old.

Given the position switch and age, White will probably take a few years to contribute, but it is easy to see what the coaches saw in White.

Finally, there is the unknown that is T.J. Moe. Moe starred as a quarterback, wide receiver and safety in high school.

It was originally thought that Moe was a lock to play safety for the Tigers. Then there was some speculation that he might take a crack at the quarterback position, and now the latest news is that he might be trying his hand at receiver (which he played as a sophomore in high school). Regardless of where he ends up, the Tigers will have an intelligent, athletic playmaker wearing black and gold.

Nebraska – With the state of Nebraska not known for producing the fastest players in the country, the Cornhuskers filled their quota of defensive backs in the 2009 class with a group of four out-of-staters.

In Dijon Washington, Nebraska added a 6-foot-1, 180 pound safety from Leuzinger High School in California. While Washington looks like a good athlete, he tackles way too high and has a tendency to not wrap up. As of now, Washington does not look like a safety who a coach would want to use as the eighth man in the box.

Andrew Green (6-foot-1, 175) is a cornerback out of Madison High School in Texas who was offered by just about every school in the Big XII, Texas and Oklahoma withstanding. Green shows a quick break out of his backpedal and is a pretty sure tackler.

From Long Beach, California, the Huskers added Lazarri Middleton (6-foot1, 190 pounds). Middleton shows good athleticism and is not afraid to help in the run game. Where Middleton struggles is with technique. He does not take the best angles and it causes him to get beat at times.

Finally, the Huskers added Taylor Martinez (6 foot, 180 pounds) from Corona, California. Having played quarterback and safety in high school, it looks like Martinez is ticketed for the defensive side of the ball in Lincoln. Nebraska was Martinez's lone offer.

Kansas – To compete in the Big XII, you have to be able to defend the pass. In the 2009 recruiting class, Kansas took this heart by signing six defensive backs.

Headlining the class is four-star safety Prinz Kande (5-foot-11, 182 pounds) from Euless, Texas. While Kande is not unbelievable in any one aspect, he is solid across the board. He looks comfortable playing a deep centerfield or being the eighth man in the box.

Also brought in at the safety position was former Ohio State commit, Brad McDougald (6-foot-1, 190 pounds). Not exceptional in pass coverage, McDougald makes his mark by being a big-time hitter and sure tackler.

Also added at the safety position was Darian Kelly (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) of Girard, Kansas. Kelly shows very good ball skills and is always looking for the big hit. He will not be the fastest defensive back in the conference, but I look for Kelly to see the field early in his Jayhawk career.

The Jayhawk coaches went to Arlington, Texas to nab cornerback/safety Dexter Linton (5-foot-10, 175 pounds). Playing safety in high school, Linton was anxious to help in the run game. A decent tackler, Linton had a bad habit of taking a poor angle. To succeed in the Big XII, Linton will have to fix that habit.

Also hailing from the Lone Star state is cornerback Tyler Patmon (5-foot-11, 165 pounds). In Patmon, the Jayhawks picked up yet another physical defensive back. More than willing to help in the run game, Patmon is also a good cover corner. He could improve by covering more ground in his backpedal.

Finally, Kansas added safety Calvin Rubles (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) from Tyler Junior College in Texas. Also recruited by UAB, Rubles decided to go with the Big XII school in Kansas. Having played cornerback in junior college, it will be interesting to see what Mangino and staff do with this 6'3" defensive back.


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