April 25, 2011

What we learned: Secondary

Missouri just finished up spring football last Saturday. Over the previous few weeks, PowerMizzou.com was at every Tiger practice. Over the next few days, we will outline what we learned at every position on the field. Today, we conclude in the secondary.

Cornerback was unique for Missouri this spring. It was the only position on the field where the Tigers had to replace more than one starter from 2010. Both Kevin Rutland and Carl Gettis are gone.

But despite the absence of experience, corner may have been one of the most impressive positions during spring ball. Kip Edwards played "starter's minutes" last year. E.J. Gaines picked off passes with regularity and has the second starting spot on lockdown. Those two offer up athleticism Missouri hasn't seen at the position for a while and if spring is any indication, the starting corners may be better than a year ago.

The real intrigue came at safety. Kenji Jackson returns and will start at one spot. Matt White, Tavon Bolden and Kenronte Walker waged a spring-long battle for the other starting job that won't be decided until the fall.

Walker is clearly the hardest hitter of the three, but Bolden probably has the edge coming out of spring camp. When the Tigers go to a nickel package, both Bolden and White were on the field as two of the five defensive backs.

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