Following James Franklin's shoulder sprain, red-shirt freshman QB Corbin Berkstresser has been thrust into the limelight this spring, as he's taken over the starter's role. Berkstresser took time to visit with ShowMeMizzou.com, and he talked about the transition to being the number one guy.
I asked Berkstresser if he's having fun?
"I am," replied Berkstresser. "You know, knowing the playbook really helps, especially. Football is about fun. And, if you're not having fun, it's not worth it. So, this is a fun game."
Berkstresser was asked to describe his game?
"I'm a pass-first, run-second QB," explained Berkstresser.
I reminded Corbin that we had spoken last December about the prospect of him being one play away in 2012. Now, he's experiencing the reality of that scenario. I asked him what he's learning from this experience?
"To just be ready, no matter what," explained Berkstresser. "I mean, James went down, and to tell you the truth, I probably could've been even more ready. But, I've had a couple of solid practices after his unexpected injury. It's kind of surreal being the number one right now. I know James will be back, but I just need to make the most of it."
Berkstresser has gotten more comfortable at the controls of the first-team offense each day. Having this experience will better prepare Berkstresser should he be called upon during the season.
"I'd rather be thrown into the mix right now than against Georgia, my first time with the ones," explained Berkstresser. "I really helps give me confidence. Going with the ones, I mean no knock on the twos or threes, but it really helps me grow with the team, and grow as a quarterback."
Berkstresser talked about how this experience has changed his perspective.
"It does (change my perspective) a little bit," said Berkstresser. "I mean, I'm going to be that guy (that's one play away). I have to expect better things from myself, even off of the field, knowing that I could be that number one guy, no matter what, anytime soon."
Berkstresser talked about developing rapport with the starting receivers.
"I mean, our chemistry was shaky at first," admitted Berkstresser, talking about working with the starters. "I mean, there's a couple of guys that I haven't been working with as much. Our wide receiver speed is some of the best in the country. You know, I've had to get used to that. You know, a quicker drop, maybe a little quicker on the release. Our chemistry is growing over the last few practices. Being able to work with the starters is going to be great!"
Berkstresser pointed out that he's been working with Jimmie Hunt and Bud Sasser, so he already has pretty good rapport with those two players. He's worked with Hunt and Sasser extensively in the off-season, as well as with his good friend Wesley Leftwich.
"Bud's kind of a freak athlete," explained Berkstresser, talking about throwing the football to Sasser. "He can go get it! He's big, tall, and he's strong!"
Berkstresser talked about improving his accuracy, and what he needs to do to get better.
"I can always get better," said Berkstresser. "My footwork can get better. And, I can get better at always hitting the receivers on time in their routes."
Since returning from spring break, I've observed Berkstresser becoming more comfortable in the starter's role, and I've seen him become more accurate, and develop better chemistry with his receivers on an almost daily basis.