The Missouri Tigers are going to need a strong defense if they are going to be competitive in their first season in the SEC.
Though there has been some turnover in the Missouri secondary, the linebacking corps is one of the strongest units in the entire conference.
Led by Andrew Wilson, a junior linebacker from Peculiar, Mo., the defense is ready to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Here are five things you need to know about Wilson, the leader of the Missouri defense.
Wilson had 98 tackles in 2011, his first full season as a starter.
This year, he’s ready to break out and eclipse the 100-tackle mark.
He’ll be on the strong side of the defense in 2012, meaning he’ll get plenty of opportunities to stuff would-be runs.
He’s ready to have a dominant season, and it couldn’t come at a better time for the Tigers.
In 2011, Wilson played middle linebacker because of an injury to regular middle linebacker Will Ebner.
In 2012, Wilson will move back to the strong side—his normal position.
Though he was playing in a different spot than normal in 2011, he still had a great year and showed how he has a nose for the football no matter where he’s positioned.
He'll transition smoothly back to the strong side this season.
Wilson had a great year in 2011, but he’s still relatively unknown on a national scale because he played in the offense-heavy Big 12 conference.
This year, however, he’ll be in a conference that is recognized nationally because of its defensive prowess.
He’ll become the next Dont’a Hightower, Brandon Spikes or DeMeco Ryans after fans see what he can do this season.
Will Ebner was supposed to be the leader of the defense in 2011, but suffered an unfortunate injury.
Wilson stepped into the leadership role and did a great job in Ebner’s absence.
With both Wilson and Ebner leading the defense in 2012, the Tigers should be just fine against their tough SEC opponents.
The SEC is a great defensive conference.
The games are all brutal and every yard gained by an offense is a yard well-earned.
Wilson will fit right into the mix as one of the best linebackers in the nation’s best defensive conference.
He was a Second-Team All-Big 12 linebacker in 2011 and has the potential to be First-Team All-SEC in 2012.