Early during fall camp, red-shirt sophomore Kentrell Brothers has been splitting reps with junior Darvin Ruise at weak-side linebacker when Missouri’s first-team defense is on the field. Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel indicated following an early-camp practice that both players will probably see action early in the season.
Brothers took a few minutes to visit with ShowMeMizzou.com, and he talked about the outlook for this season.
“Darvin and I are looking to step up and fill the “big hole” at the position (created by the graduation of Zaviar Gooden),” said Brothers, who intimated that Missouri Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Dave Steckel considers Ruise and Brothers to be even on the Depth Chart, and effectively co-starters. “Coach Stec says we’re even, but I just consider myself as the two. We’re switching, but I’d rather be seen as the two. If I’m not the full-time starter, then I’m the two.”
Brothers is certainly one of Missouri’s top three or four LBs, and he said that he can play all three LB positions.
“My goal is to be a full-time starter,” explained Brothers. “But, whatever Coach Stec feels is best for the team, I’m on board with that. (It doesn’t matter which LB position I play), as long as I get on the field.”
Brothers, who measures 6’1” and 235 pounds, posted a 4.71-second forty-yard dash in testing earlier this year, to go along with a 4.32-second short shuttle, a 7.1-second three-cone, a 37” vertical jump, a 9’6” broad jump, and 18 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press.
Brothers plays smart, and he reacts well to the play in front of him. He said that he spends a lot of time watching film, to help him get better at diagnosing plays.
He said that he likes playing on special teams.
“I love kickoff,” said Brothers.
I asked Brothers what he needs to do to get better?
“I’m looking forward to full pads,” said Brothers. “I need to get better at shedding blocks from the o-linemen. Getting off receiver’s blocks is not as difficult. Don’t get me wrong. Our receivers are good blockers. But, getting off of blocks from (offensive linemen) is a test.”
I asked Brothers about Missouri’s younger linebackers?
“They can all really run! I can tell you that,” said Brothers.
I asked him what are his expectations for Missouri’s defense this year?
“Our defense is going to be great! We’re going to run to the ball,” said Brothers. “We’re going to be the most physical, hardest-hitting, running to the ball team you guys have seen in a long time. Stec is preaching it. We’re living it, we’re doing it. We’re a hundred percent in.”