Throughout fall camp, PowerMizzou.com will give Tiger fans a look at the roster through the eyes of the Missouri position coaches. Today, we talk with safeties coach Barry Odom.
PowerMizzou.com: With Jasper Simmons are you looking for him to make that jump from a guy that played to a guy that is really a standout for you?
Barry Odom: "You've probably heard coach Pinkel say this: Everybody that played last year, they've got to play better this year. That goes for him. He did some good things last year, but with playing 12 games last year, another spring ball, another two-a-days, his game's got to improve, as does everybody's. He's shown progress every day and we're looking for him to have a good year."
PM: Can you compare it to a guy like Pig Brown? As a junior, he was decent, but he wasn't what he was as a senior up until the injury.
BO: "I hope so. If we get that play out of him, we'll all be really happy. I didn't get a chance to coach Pig, but obviously saw it from the outside. Anytime that you can be in the program, more repetitions, more practice, especially for a junior college guy, they're a little bit more mature and hopefully at that point in their career, they'll make that step."
PM: Kenji Jackson is still holding down that starting spot. What held him back last year and do you think he's back to the level he played at as a freshman?
BO: "He's playing better. For whatever reason, he didn't play probably up to some expectations. He had some really, really bright moments last year and some not so, like our entire team was inconsistent. He's got to continue to play his speed, be quick and don't hurry. If he does that, he's so smart, he'll be in the right place. He's had a really good camp."
PM: How about Kenronte Walker? You don't bring juco guys in to sit too often.
BO: "Nothing's set yet, but he has made the jump. Luckily, he got to go through spring ball and that helped him a tremendous amount, obviously. And then being here all summer, going through the seven-on-seven stuff with the guys and just hearing terminology and going through it again, he's another guy that's gotten a little bit better each day. He still has a redshirt year available, but here over the next couple of days, obviously, some of that stuff will play out."
PM: Matt White and Tavon Bolden are linked together a lot as guys that redshirted last year and are kind of fighting for that same spot. What have you seen from them?
BO: "We always go into it, we'll work on getting the depth set over the course of the next ten days counting down. But hopefully those guys have a chance to help us this year in a variety of roles. They both really, for redshirt freshmen, are doing pretty good."
PM: Your young guys, Braylon Webb and Daniel Easterly, I don't know if you view them as guys that will be counted on this year, but how have they looked?
BO: "Both of those guys, the thing that going through the recruiting process with them, they both showed things that we knew they would be able to fit in our system. Daniel's got unbelievable speed and athleticism and you see glimpses of that. From a consistency standpoint, both of those guys are bringing it every day. Braylon, on the other hand, the numbers probably aren't going to jump out at you, but man, he's a solid football player and he's always in the right place and very, very smart with his checks. Both of those guys have got a bright future."
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