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March 2, 2009

Spring preview: Quarterbacks

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The Missouri Tigers enter the post-Chase Daniel era when the open spring football later this month. For the first time since Brad Smith's freshman year, Mizzou enters the spring without a set idea of who will start at quarterback. PowerMizzou.com takes an in-depth look at the position as we start our spring ball previews.

The Favorite: Blaine Gabbert enters the spring as the clear-cut leader in the competition to succeed Daniel. Gabbert saw limited action as a true freshman, but it's more the experience he got in practice that puts him out front. Gabbert took quite a few reps with the first team both during the season and in bowl practices. The former five-star recruit enters the spring having to play his way out of the starting job.

The Challengers: Blaine Dalton and Ashton Glaser are on campus for spring ball, which gives them a leg up over most true freshmen. But they're still true freshmen. Jimmy Costello received a scholarship in the spring and will get a chance to compete as well.

Spring Prediction: It would be surprising if Gabbert was not the starter. What will likely be more interesting is the backup competition. Does one of the two freshmen win the job? Does Costello get the nod to preserve the redshirts for the young guys? There is no more pressing question, not just for this season, but for the future of the program. At this point, we'd expect one of the two freshmen to grab the backup spot, but if Costello is close, it might serve the Tigers well to let him play the mop-up snaps and maintain four years of eligibility for Dalton and Glaser.

Things Could Change If... Again, it would be a surprise to see Gabbert not starting, but it would not be a complete shock. Dalton and Glaser are both expected to do good things at Mizzou and it's possible one of them shows enough in spring ball to legitimately challenge for the starting job in fall camp. If Gabbert is overtaken before the start of next season, will he accept being the backup like Chase Patton did?

PowerMizzou.com will preview every position prior to the first spring practice. Coming later today: The tailbacks.

PowerMizzou.com's spring football coverage is sponsored by Pension & Benefits Live. Jesse Cox (stljesstx) and Tim Killday (Killer) would appreciate the opportunity to be a resource to you for company benefits and/or individual health and life insurance needs.



No one covers the Tigers like PowerMizzou.com. To follow the Tigers year-round, sign up today to start your Free Seven-Day Trial.


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