Mon May 09 07:20pm EDT
Looks like Tyler Gabbert will not be following in his older brother's footsteps -- at least not at Missouri.
In a stunning move, Gabbert, a redshirt freshman, has opted to transfer.
The move caught everyone off guard because Gabbert was firmly in the mix to follow his brother Blaine and become the starter for the Tigers. Blaine Gabbert started two seasons for Missouri before opting to declare for the NFL draft after his junior season. Blaine Gabbert was picked 10th overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tyler Gabbert had a strong spring, but struggled in the spring game and was unable to edge last year's backup James Franklin for the starting role. Apparently knowing that he wasn't going to be the starter heading into the fall was enough to prompt Gabbert to seek playing time elsewhere.
"It's a very long thought-out process that Ty went through in evaluating what he wants to do in his football career," Gabbert's father Chuck told the Columbia Daily Tribune. "Yes, he was in the midst of a quarterback battle. Nothing's given to you and it's a competition. And Ty feeds on that competition. But there were other factors we're not going to get into that Ty evaluated. He just felt he wanted to make a change."
The same newspaper had an article on Gabbert last Thursday that stressed his commitment to summer workouts and Missouri. Chuck Gabbert said his son was already contemplating a move when he gave that interview.
There's no word on where Gabbert will end up, though Missouri will not allow him to transfer to another school in the Big 12. Gabbert was committed to Nebraska prior to signing with Missouri and now that the 'Huskers are moving to the Big Ten, they could be an option. Gabbert also had offers from Louisville, Oregon, Iowa and Wake Forest. Regardless of which FBS school he chooses, Gabbert will have to sit out a year per NCAA rules.
As for Missouri, this move puts the Tigers in a precarious quarterbacking position. When Brad Smith was there, they were able to bring Chase Daniel along slowly with early backup playing time. Blaine Gabbert played some during his freshman year behind Daniel. And Franklin was used as a freshman last season. However, current backup Ashton Glaser hasn't shown enough to warrant backup playing time and incoming freshman Corbin Berkstresser is a wildcard as he joins the team in the fall.
Missouri's quarterbacking competition was still very much open heading into the summer and Gabbert, who had overtaken Franklin briefly in the spring after completing 60.4 percent of his passes for 568 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions during four scrimmages before struggling in the spring game. Apparently, whatever "other factors" Chuck Gabbert wouldn't go into were ultimately the deciding factor.