Every football team in the country has unanswered questions going into their annual spring practice; the University of Missouri is no exception.
Missouri will begin spring practice this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. one of the biggest questions facing the Tigers this spring and fall is who will replace three year starter Chase Daniel at quarterback.
One sophomore and two true freshmen will be vying for the starting position. One thing is for sure, who ever is the starter against Illinois in the Tiger's opener in September will have earned the position.
Veteran Coach Gary Pinkel told InsideMizzou.com in an interview two weeks ago the competition is wide open.
"It's great to have all three quarterbacks here this spring to compete for the job," Pinkel said. "All three will have an equal opportunity to win the starting role, whoever it is will have earned it."
One thing that Pinkel pointed out was that he and new offensive coordinator David Yost would take a somewhat different approach with the quarterbacks this spring.
"Anytime you have a young group of guys at the position like we do, we will simply what we are doing," Pinkel said. "Chase didn't have the entire play book his first season. He had a lot more his third season than his first. We will try to make things as simple as possible for all the quarterbacks starting out."
One thing that Pinkel is counting on to help that process is the fact that the Tigers have an experienced running back returning in Derrick Washington.
"Having Derrick and a pretty experienced offensive line should help out the quarterback situation," Pinkel said. "It should take some of the pressure off whoever is the starter. He will know he won't have to do everything himself, he has an experienced backfield and line to depend on."
All eyes will be focused on Blaine Gabbert, a sophomore who backed up Daniel last fall. True freshmen Blaine Dalton and Ashton Glaser both enrolled in school early so they could both have a spring to learn the offensive system.
"Getting here in January was very important to me," Dalton said in an earlier interview. "It puts me on equal footing with Ashton and gives us both a chance to learn the system before going into fall camp. It definitely should be an advantage for us."
When you have had an experience signal caller that produced the type of numbers Daniel did during his career at Missouri, it makes it more difficult to replace.
"It's not easy to replace a Chase Daniel," Pinkel said. "Everyone said the same thing about Brad Smith before Daniel arrived on the scene. We are very confident we have three good quarterbacks capable of playing for us, who it is will be up to them."
Stay tuned to InsideMizzou.com for an in depth look at each quarterback and each position throughout spring football.
Discuss spring practice with our staff of experts in our Free Message Football board forum or a Wednesday afternoon chat session at 1 p.m. only at InsideMizzou.com.
Spring Football Coverage of InsideMizzou.com is sponsored by Kyle Turner and Allied Mortgage Company Columbia Missouri.