Mizzou DL Terry Beckner Jr. was a highly touted 5-star recruit when he signed with the Tigers, but a couple of season-ending knee injuries have kept him from living up to expectations in Columbia so far.

So far in 2017, though, he’s been healthy and is starting to come into his own as a leader of the Mizzou defensive line.

However, as the Tigers have continued to struggle this year, it’s not easy to play defensive line when your team is down by 30 points.

On Tuesday, Beckner told STLToday.com that losing games to injury and losing games on the scoreboard are both painful to him:

“Both,” he said. “Even when I wasn’t hurt we were losing games. They go hand in hand.”

When you’ve had major surgeries done on both knees, it can be hard to trust them to do what they are supposed to do on the field.

Beckner admitted that the mental part of his game has been even tougher to get back than the physical part:

“It’s the mental part,” he said. “Once you have it up there everything else will fall into place. If you don’t have it up there your physical part will be poor because your mind is telling you can’t do it.”

Through eight games this year, Beckner has 24 tackles (6.5 for a loss) and five sacks. If he can keep playing the way he is right now, the Tigers’ defense will continue to improve, and NFL scouts will start paying more attention.