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February 25, 2008

Spring preview: Few questions at QB

No one covers spring football at Missouri like PowerMizzou.com. To keep up with spring drills and everything that happens in Tiger football, click here to start your free trial today!

Missouri opens spring football practice on March 11th, just 15 days from now. Over the next two weeks, PowerMizzou.com will be previewing the most anticipated spring in school history from every possible angle. Today, we begin with a look at the quarterback position:

The Starter: Something tells me Chase Daniel has this one pretty much locked up. I think we might even get an admission from Gary Pinkel that while every job is technically open, the starting quarterback spot really isn't. Daniel was a Heisman finalist last year. He has probably done enough to start against Illinois even if he doesn't complete a single pass this spring.

The Backup Race: This is really just about as simple. Chase Patton has this spot. First off, he's the next best quarterback. Second, he deserves it. Many, many people would have left when Daniel won the job. Patton stuck it out. He deserves a chance to get some reps this fall.

The Top Storyline: This is probably the only spot on the field where the top story will really be the third guy. There's this kid named Gabbert coming in next fall who most fans expect to be the successor to Daniel. Dominic Grooms and J.P. Tillman have about 15 practices to really impress the coaches and give themselves a significant leg up on the incoming freshman as far as the future goes. Daniel probably won't get that many reps this spring. Patton will certainly get some, but the most intriguing part of this spring is seeing whether Grooms or Tillman can eventually become a Big 12 starting quarterback. They need to make that statement this spring that they are ready or they could end up as career backups.

Position Rating: At each position, we'll assign a rating between one and ten. At QB, we'll give the Tigers a 9. It could be a ten, but the fact is, if Daniel goes down, we have never seen another guy on the roster take a meaningful snap. The starter is as good as any in the country. Are the backups good enough to put Mizzou in the Big 12 title race even if Daniel can't play?

Coming tomorrow: The tailbacks

No one covers spring football at Missouri like PowerMizzou.com. To keep up with spring drills and everything that happens in Tiger football, click here to start your free trial today!


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