Kony Ealy, a redshirt junior from New Madrid, Mo., was challenged by defensive coordinator Dave Steckel to step up and lead by example this season. Ealy says he had a good 2012 season, but said it wasn’t good enough. His numbers were solid. 10 starts and 37 tackles, but what was more impressive was that he ranked 3rd on the team in tackles for loss (10.0 for 39 yards), 4th in sacks (3.5 for 28 yards), 2nd in pass break ups (7), and 2nd in quarterback pressures (5). Ealy is ready for a break out season.
Andrew Wilson enters his senior season, taking on a larger role on defense, moving to inside linebacker and calling the defensive plays. The Peculiar, Mo. native led Mizzou in tackles for the second straight year, ending with 79 and he ranked among the NCAA leaders in forced fumbles. His 219 career tackles entering the 2013 season is 50 more than the next-closest teammate (E.J. Gaines with 169). This season, communication with the rest of the defense will rest largely on his shoulders.
Mizzou in a Minute is a daily feature that will run on Missourinet.com throughout the football season. Each day, we’ll give you quick one-on-one interviews with Tiger players and coaches. You can also check out past interviews on YouTube.