Well, this is certainly a shocking and wholly unexpected development.
Just over two weeks after seeing James Franklin officially named as Missouri’s starting quarterback on the post-spring depth chart — and a month and a half after he had climbed to co-No. 1 alongside Franklin — Tyler Gabbert has “decided to leave the football program to pursue other playing opportunities.”
The school made the announcement via a press release just a short time ago.
“We wish Tyler the best and will do everything we can to assist him going forward,” said Pinkel. “He’s worked very hard in our program this past year, and we thank him for his efforts. Tyler is a high quality person and an outstanding football player,” head coach Gary Pinkel said in a statement.
It’s unclear what if any restrictions have been placed on Gabbert being released from his scholarship, although not being permitted to transfer to another Big 12 school and/or a school that will appear on Mizzou’s future schedule while he retains eligibility certainly could be stipulations. As a four-star QB coming out of Ballwin, Miss., Gabbert had, in addition to interest from about half of the Big 12, offers from Iowa, Indiana, Wake Forest, Wyoming and Colorado State.
Gabbert, a member of the Tigers’ 2010 recruiting class who redshirted last year, entered spring practice this year as No. 3-ish in the race to replace his brother Blaine Gabbert as Mizzou’s starter. He had reportedly outperformed Franklin through most of the first three-quarters of the sessions, but Franklin responded with improved play during the final week of spring ball as well as the spring game to maintain a hold on the job.
It was thought that the battle between Franklin and Gabbert would resume in summer camp, but the latter appears to have seen some writing on the QB wall that others didn’t.
With Gabbert’s departure, sophomore Ashton Glaser becomes Mizzou’s No. 2 QB.