As the Missouri Tigers ready for fall camp, ShowMeMizzou.com begins our Preseason Position Previews with a look at the QB position.
On the surface, not much has changed at the QB position for Missouri.
Entering fall camp, returning starter Maty Mauk sits atop the Depth Chart. And as long as he’s healthy, he’ll be the starter.
Heading into his junior season, Mauk has completed just 53% of his pass attempts (289-547-15, 3719 yards, 36 TDs) at Mizzou. Yet, he carries a career passer efficiency rating of 126.18 into the 2015 season. At present, that places him 5th on the passer efficiency career list at Missouri, behind Chase Daniel (148.9), James Franklin (136.7), Blaine Gabbert (132.6), and just behind Kent Kiefer (126.8).
Through his first two seasons, Mauk has rushed (mostly scrambled) for 602 yards and 3 TDs on 149 attempts (4.04 yards/carry).
Since last season, Mauk has focused on getting better, which it appears that he has, at least to some extent, and he’s worked on developing a good rapport with his young receivers. The latter may have as much to do as the former with respect to Mauk becoming a more efficient passer this season. Mauk has improved himself physically, and he appears to be faster and quicker. And overall, he appears to be more calm in the pocket, and more decisive.
Mauk’s performance will go a long way toward determining just how good the Tigers will be this year.
Sophomore Eddie Printz served as Mauk’s back-up a year ago. He saw little action, as Mauk managed to stay healthy enough to answer the bell every week. Printz will head into fall camp as the back-up, and there seems to be little doubt that he’ll emerge as the second-stringer for the second straight season.
If he does receive a challenge for the back-up job this fall, it will come from red-shirt freshman Marvin Zanders, a true dual threat at the QB position who showed very well this spring. And although Coach Pinkel acknowledged coming out of spring ball that Zanders had “improved his throwing tremendously”, and that Zanders has “a lot of upside” as a QB, he first referred to the red-shirt freshman as “a great athlete”, and concluded his assessment of Zanders by saying that “he’s a player who can probably play anywhere on the field”. Then just to be clear, Coach Pinkel once again reminded everyone that Zanders “is a great athlete!”
There’s some thought that Zanders might change positions, perhaps to receiver, where the Tigers could get this great athlete on the field? Perhaps he’ll change his mind on a position change, but for now, it appears that Zanders is invested in playing QB. Time will tell.
I’ve been impressed with the field presence that Zanders has shown at the QB position. And, he appears to be very adept with the zone read option. Personally, I’d like to see what Zanders can become at QB, if given the opportunity.
Fifth-year senior Corbin Berkstresser heads into the fall as the number four QB, with true freshman, Drew Lock, right on his heels. Berkstresser provides the Tigers with some experienced depth at the position.
For the very talented Lock, this fall will be a time of learning and growth as a QB, of taking that step up from high school to major college football. It will be very surprised if he does not draw a developmental red-shirt during his first season at Mizzou.
Here’s what the pre-season Depth Chart is expected to look like at QB as the Tigers head into fall camp:
7 Maty Mauk 6’0” 200 (J)
9 Eddie Printz 6’3” 215 (So)
1 Marvin Zanders 6’2” 185 (RSF)
13 Corbin Berkstresser 6’3” 225 (S)
3 Drew Lock 6’4” 204 (F)
12 John Eierman 6’0” 210 (RSF)