This spring, Missouri will have an open competition at the QB position. The goal of the coaching staff is to get everyone as many reps as possible, and allow the competition to help sort things out. While there are 6 QBs currently listed on the roster, in reality, at least at the beginning of the spring, it will be a four-man competition.
"The depth at quarterback is good," said Missouri assistant coach, Andy Hill. "But you know, part of the problem with having really good depth is in the (limited) number of reps guys can get."
Heading into the spring, Maty Mauk sits atop the Depth Chart, followed by Corbin Berkstresser, Eddie Printz, Trent Hosick, Colby Carpenter, and the just-arrived Marvin Zanders. It seems unlikely that Zanders will truly be competing for the starting job this spring in what amounts to his initial orientation, so to begin with, the reps with the top two offensive units are likely to be split primarily between the top four QBs.
7 Maty Mauk 6'1" 200 (So)
13 Corbin Berkstresser 6'3" 225 (J)
9 Eddie Printz 6'3" 210 (RSF)
11 Trent Hosick 6'2" 230 (RSF)
12 Colby Carpenter 6'2" 220 (RSF)
1 Marvin Zanders 6'2" 183 (F)
It's likely that we'll see some shuffling within the QB Depth Chart this spring. And, some of it could occur rather quickly.
"It's an open competition," said Coach Hill. "And, we're going to find out who the best guy is."
The QB competition this spring is going to be closely contested, and perhaps the most competitive that we've seen at Missouri under Coach Pinkel.
As we head into the spring, each of the two QBs listed atop the Depth Chart have garnered some in-season playing experience, Mauk as James Franklin's back-up in 2013, and Berkstresser as Franklin's back-up in 2012.
Mauk ended up playing in 13 games in 2013, and he compiled a 3-1 record in his 4 starts. On the season, Mauk was 68-133-2 (51.1%) for 1071 yards and 11 TDs, which equates to a passer efficiency rating of 143.06. Of particular significance to the QB competition is how much he improved throughout the 2013 season.
Berkstresser saw very limited action in 2013, after a 2012 season in which he played in 10 games, including 4 starts, and was 88-177-7 (50%) for 1059 yards and 5 TDs.
During 2013, Eddie Printz served for a time in mid-season as Mauk's back-up, but fortunately, Coach Pinkel was able to preserve Printz's red-shirt. It's very possible that Printz will mount a serious challenge for the starting job this spring. Since his arrival at Missouri more than a year ago, Printz has done nothing but impress in practice with his passing ability. He has yet to do it in-season, but it's possible that he may very well wrest the starting job away from Mauk.
One of the more interesting of the QBs to watch this spring will be Trent Hosick. He possesses a somewhat unique skill set among Missouri's QBs, in that he was primarily a running QB before he arrived at Missouri. Over the last year, he's continued to improve as a passer, and at least one Missouri coach has expressed the opinion that Hosick definitely has the ability, specifically the passing ability, to develop into a quality dual threat.
A four-way open competition is probably too cumbersome for the entirety of the spring, primarily because there are just not enough first-team, or even second-team, reps to be distributed among 4 QBs. So, the 4-man aspect of the competition may be relatively short-lived.
By the time the Tigers return from Spring Break, It's likely that we could see the QB competition develop into a 2-man race. with the leading candidates being between Mauk and Printz at this time, and one that may very well continue into fall camp.
In any case, Missouri should come out of the spring with more than one capable QB, and with a re-ordered Depth Chart at the position.