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July 18, 2008

Countdown to Camp: Strong at Safety

PowerMizzou.com will preview fall camp extensively over the next four weeks, including previews at every position and individual looks at players who must step up to make 2008 a success. If you are not yet a premium subscriber, click here to start your free seven-day trial today!.

Fall camp opens up in 17 days. Over the next couple of weeks, PowerMizzou.com will continue to get Tiger fans completely prepped for the biggest season in school history. Today, we continue our in-depth breakdowns of the fall situation at every position on the field. We move on to the safeties.

The Starters: William Moore is the backbone of the Tiger defense and perhaps the best safety in America. Justin Garrett stepped in when Pig Brown went down last year and played well. Garrett is probably the biggest hitter on the Tiger team. Those two have the safety spots all but locked up.

Projected Backups: Del Howard moved from corner after his freshman season and should be fully adjusted to the safety position at this point. Hardy Ricks made the same move last year and should be in line for a backup job as well. However, both players figure to get a push from Gilbert Moye, who redshirted last season, and Zaviar Gooden, who might not this year.

Major Camp Storyline: The starters are settled. The major story to follow in camp will be which of the four projected reserves step to the forefront. Ricks seems at his more natural position now, while Howard has had a year to get used to playing safety. Moye may be the best athlete of all of them and Gooden has received rave reviews out of summer workouts. Only four safeties will see meaningful playing time, so two in this group will have to wait for their time to come.

By the Numbers: 8. The number of interceptions by William Moore as a junior, among the national leaders and a school record at Missouri. More was a one man turnover machine in the final six weeks of the season.

Position Rating: 9. Any time you have the best player in the country at a position, you are in good shape. If Garrett can make a few strides from last year, the Tigers might have the best back line in the Big 12.

PowerMizzou.com will continue our position previews with a look at the special teams on Saturday.

PowerMizzou.com will preview fall camp extensively over the next four weeks, including previews at every position and individual looks at players who must step up to make 2008 a success. If you are not yet a premium subscriber, click here to start your free seven-day trial today!.


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