2015 Arch Awards: Who was St. Louis’s Best Under-the-Radar Performer in 2015?

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Walter Brady, DE, Missouri Tigers

Entering the 2015 season, only the most devout Mizzou fans were familiar with the name Walter Brady, and it’d be hard to blame the people who weren’t. The 6-foot-3, 255-pounder spent his entire first year at Mizzou and wasn’t allowed to practice with the football team until this January. Brady wasn’t much more recognizable by the time the regular season started in August, as he lost a preseason battle with junior college transfer Marcell Frazier for the starting left end job and was used in reserve duty to start the year. After a breakout Week 3 performance during which he collected two sacks, however, Brady ascended into the starting lineup and was one of Mizzou’s best defensive players from there on out.

Brady led all NCAA freshmen in sacks with seven, and he finished with 40 total tackles, 12.5 of which were for loss. He also had a 22-yard interception return against South Carolina and added a fumble recovery. Brady was one of the major bright spots for a Mizzou team that relied on its defense, particularly its dominant defensive line, to keep it in games with its total lack of offense.

With Brady still a year away from the start of his NFL Draft eligibility, it should be interesting to see how he progresses. Masterful defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski is reportedly leaving the Mizzou staff with Barry Odom taking over as head coach, so it will be up to Brady in 2016 to progress and prove that his success wasn’t merely a product of his position coach’s legendary ability.

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