With the college football season being over for all but a couple teams and the All-American games played, the recruiting hot stove is heating up.
With national signing day and spring football creeping closer and closer, it's time to turn our attention to the future. Some Tiger fans are already chomping at the bit to get a glimpse of the highly touted freshman quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, in spring practices.
While that's all well and good, we're going to take a look a little further into the future at his younger brother and 2010 recruit Tyler Gabbert.
Tyler is midway through his junior year at Parkway West High School in Ballwin, Mo. near St. Louis. He finished up his junior season with roughly 1,850 yards, 17 touchdowns, five interceptions, and about a 65-percent completion rate. He snagged second-team all-conference honors and was named as an honorable mention on the all-metro team. Gabbert led the Longhorns to a 7-3 record in 2008.
Mizzou, along with Nebraska and Iowa, have offered Gabbert a scholarship. Those three schools are at the top of Gabbert's list right now, but he says more coaches are scheduled to visit his high school during the upcoming semester.
With his older brother having a leg up in the race to be Chase Daniel's successor at the quarterback position for the Tigers in 2009, it may seem as though Mizzou has an inside track on wooing the younger Gabbert, but how much will Blaine really factor into the equation?
"It might factor into it a little, but we have a little bit of separation, so, I mean, not much at all." Said Tyler. "He's just helping me more along with the recruiting process as opposed to having any factor with my decision for the most part."
So what advice has the elder brother imparted on his younger sibling?
"Be honest. Don't take things for granted. Don't lead people on," he said. "Leading people on is kind of rude, because if you know you're not going to go there, they're wasting their time recruiting you, so just be honest and don't take things for granted. Just take everything with a grain of salt."
Gabbert has not taken any official visits yet, but he has been on Mizzou, Nebraska, and Iowa's respective campuses this season. He said he attended all the Tiger's home games this fall, along with the Big 12 Championship game and the Alamo Bowl. He was also in attendance in Lincoln, Neb. for their matchup with the Tigers, and he saw the Iowa/Northwestern game in Iowa City.
Gabbert says he's wide open as far as his recruitment goes, and all three of the schools that offered him are on an even keel. As to which camps he might attend this summer?
"I'm looking to probably be committed around summertime, so I'll probably have it narrowed down to some certain camps, but I'll go to the Missouri camp in the spring and the Elite-11 camp, and I'm also going to do a national 7-on-7 tournament."
So what can Gabbert contribute to the team who wins the battle for his services?
"I think I'm smart with the ball, I have a strong arm and I can move out of the pocket, not necessarily run it but just by time and escape and rolling out and throw on the run and timing and footwork, I spend a lot of time on my mechanics and footwork and I think that helps me." Gabbert said.
Some of those characteristics sound similar to what got coaches drooling over Blaine, but is Tyler worried about being in his big brother's shadow?
"All of the colleges I've talked to so far just say I'm my own person," explained Gabbert. "You can't compare me to my brother because we're two different people. I mean, he's 6'5", and I'm a smaller quarterback (six feet even). We each do different things better than each other. I'm my own different person."
Whoever gets Gabbert, the team he chooses to play for may get him a semester early. "This semester I'm loading up on all my core classes and trying to get all the credits I can just so I'll have the option to enroll early. So it'll be nice to have it, opposed to not having it. I'm taking my core classes and also some correspondence classes online."
Stay tuned to Inside Mizzou for more information on Gabbert and other prospective Tigers from the 2010 recruiting class.