Mizzou released its first depth chart of the season Tuesday, and Jarvis Ware is the starting cornerback.
Mizzou is high on its secondary this season.
Coach Barry Odom and staff believe they have the makings of a great safety tandem in Tyree Gillespie and Joshuah Bledsoe, and Mizzou has believed all along in its cornerbacks DeMarkus Acy and Christian Holmes. They even added a third safety on the field to get more athleticism on the defense this year.
That’s a ton of optimism coming out of a program that hasn’t done too well in that department over the years. But this is the deepest they’ve been under Odom.
Another reason for high expectations for Mizzou came in the surprise improvement of Jarvis Ware, who now has overtaken one of Mizzou’s top defensive players on the roster.
The sophomore beat out Holmes to start for Mizzou in the opener this weekend at Wyoming.
Odom said earlier in the month he felt the team had three starting corners in Acy, Holmes and Ware. He followed through with his belief in Ware by placing him next to Acy in the starting lineup. Holmes will be the No. 3 cornerback for now.
"The Tigers return two starters at cornerback in DeMarkus Acy and Christian Holmes, but they’ll have to hold off Jarvis Ware if they want to keep their starting jobs. The sophomore continued his strong camp with two pass breakups Saturday, both of which could have been interceptions if he secured the ball in the air."
Coaches see his length and speed as reasons he could disrupt the SEC quarterbacks. Odom said he could be a great player in this league.
So who is Ware?
Ware was a three-star recruit out of Apopka, Florida, and chose Mizzou in 2017. He played in 10 games last season and recorded six tackles as a true freshman. He took his game to another level this past spring and sprung ahead of former Mizzou starter Adam Sparks to claim the third spot on the depth chart during the summer. He held off former receiver Richaud Floyd, who moved over to cornerback to get more action on the field.
But Ware made sure he was the guy who will be seeing more playing time this season by jumping ahead of Holmes as well.
According to the Mizzou football roster, Ware picked up a lot steam during the Tigers’ recruitment of him out of Florida, but he chose to stay with the team that jumped on the opportunity to recruit him early. Ware committed to the Tigers less than 10 days after they offered.
And now, he is the starting cornerback.