One of the greatest impact JUCOs in Missouri history was a man named Pig.
Ever wondered what a Mizzou team that was comprised of only Missouri kids would look like? Or wonder how good an only-Texan Mizzou squad would do? Well, you’re in luck! This offseason, the Rock M Masthead is assembling the best team of Mizzou players by state that they graduated high school from. We compiled a list of the significant starters on every team from the year 2000 on and voted on the best players at their position group in order to create three “All-State” Mizzou squads: Team Missouri, Team Texas, and Team USA. Over the next nine weeks you’ll read about these Mizzou Greats that hailed from the respective regions and, hopefully, come away impressed with just how good these fictional teams could actually be.
Tiger defensive backs have been big on reliability but short on impact talent. It’s time to see how they stack up and who comes out on top!
When teams sign JUCO players, more often than not, that player is an experienced depth piece whose main function is to plug a glaring weakness on the team and provide a stop-gap until the underclassmen at that position can acclimate to the college level and be productive.
There are a few impact JUCO players to be sure but, on the whole, they are guys who get to play for an FBS team, get that 4-year degree, and move on.
That wasn’t Pig Brown. Not by a long shot.
Of course, to be fair (and I had forgotten this, myself) Pig Brown was not an impact player from Day One. As part of the 2006 signing class, Brown was a looked over piece in a wave of JUCO defensive reinforcements for Gary Pinkel’s squad, joining Qaran Barge, Tommy Chavis, Castine Bridges, Justin Brown, and Tremane Vaughns – the last three all being defensive backs, like Brown. And while 2006 was a step up in team quality for the Tigers, the defense was still overly reliable on turnovers and Pig only logged 15 solo tackles and half of a sack in 11 games.
But then 2007 hit. And like every other player on that 2007 team, everything fell into place for Pig.
Over 8 games the Adel, Georgia product tallied 41 solo tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, and one beautiful fumble recovery that was returned 101 yards in the opening game against Illinois.
Brown is definitely part of the “What If?” fraternity featuring Danario, Josey, Cale Garrett, and others: what would 2007 have ended like if Pig Brown wasn’t lost for the season during the Iowa State game?
Taking his per game averages and extrapolating that over a 13-game season would give Pig 67 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 5 interceptions, and 2 fumble recoveries. As a comparison, LSU’s Craig Steltz – an All-American safety for 2007 – finished his ‘07 campaign with 63 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 6 interceptions.
Not only that, but Brown had a noticeable impact on the early Oklahoma game, logging 8 tackles and 2 TFLs to stymie the Sooner attack. What kind of impact could he have brought in the Big XII Championship game? Who knows…
Regardless, Pig Brown set expectations high for any JUCO player joining the Tigers and was an easy choice for Team USA’s defensive back.