Spring football is a time for football coaches to teach, players to learn and to compete for a position. To show their coaches they are ready to perform at the next level, ready to compete at the Big 12 level.
This spring has more unanswered questions for Missouri fans that the Tigers have had in some time.
Who will be the biggest surprise of the spring, which will emerge as the unknown star from the locker room that no one knew about, or never acknowledged?
"We have some stars in our locker room that no one knows about yet," Gary Pinkel said earlier in the spring. "Who will emerge as the next stars of Mizzou? We have gone through this before."
It's apparent that Blaine Gabbert is the heir apparent to Daniel. Is he farther ahead at this point of his career than what Daniel was at this point?
"In a lot of ways he is," new offensive coordinator David Yost and former long time quarterback coach said. "He has some measurables that Chase didn't have. He is using more of the field at this point. Blaine has started off faster doing than Chase did. Recognizes defenses a little earlier than where Chase was."
Gabbert definitely has a cannon of an arm, expect the sophomore to continue to improve this spring and summer.
"I think that you will really see him continue at a fast pace between now and the fall," Yost said. "He has a great command of the offense. He has done an outstanding job so far."
Behind Gabbert is walk-on signal caller Jimmy Costello, who will be put on scholarship in the fall.
Costello is a capable back up and has a great command of the offense and at times shows a solid arm. His arm isn't the weapon that Gabbert possesses, but it will suffice. Expect true freshmen Blaine Dalton and Ashton Glaser to show major improvement after the spring season. According to Yost he expects a major improvement by both of them over the summer period going into the fall.
"They won't be rookies any more when fall camp starts," Yost said. "They will have grown and matured so much just between this semester and during the summer. They are both still supposed to be in high school. Glaser just went to his senior prom last weekend with his high school sweetheart."
A pleasant surprise has been De'Vion Moore at running back. With 1,000 yard rusher Derrick Washington being sidelined for the first nine practices, Moore was given an opportunity to shine. He hasn't disappointed.
As Pinkel described they will be a great one, two punch this fall.
Gilbert Moye moved to the position but has been injured and has appeared uncomfortable or hurt the times I have seen him play.
It appears that the offensive line is in much better hands than last year. Nothing against longtime offensive line coach Bruce Walker, but the saying two heads are better than one is definitely apparent this spring.
Former LSU tight end and assistant offensive line coach Josh Henson has brought a lot to the table for the Tigers. Both he and Coach Walker are seen often teaching and talking to each lineman after each play, explaining what they did right and wrong. Not a lot of screaming, just a lot of teaching and it appears to be paying off.
Look for the offensive line to be more fundamentally sound and a lot more physical. They have been very impressive so far this spring. Two guys automatically stand out from their performances on the field so far. Tackle Dan Hoch and center Tim Barnes have been outstanding so far.
Expect senior Kurtis Gregory to perform well at one of the guard positions while red shirt sophomore Austin Wuebbels will do well at the other. Hoch will start at one of the tackle positions while sophomore Elvis Fisher is expected at the other.
The good news is the first team offensive line is solid; the bad news is that the talent and depth drops off a lot after that. For the Tigers to have the success they have had the past two years, one or two things must happen with the offensive line. First no injuries, they must stay healthy. Second some of the second or third string guys must work harder than they ever have before and develop into solid contributors before the fall. This is definitely possible with Coach Walker and Coach Henson tutoring this group.
Brandon Gerau has been starting most of the spring and the former walk-on was told Tuesday that he now is on full scholarship.
"It's great, it shows that hard work pays off," Gerau said. "I'm not going to change anything that I have been doing. I'm going to continue to work extremely hard. I want to contribute wherever I can."
Another receiver/tight end that stood out Tuesday was sophomore Beau Brinkley. He made several impressive catches. He has stood out at least two out of the last three practices.