Big 12 football: Missouri building QB tradition
Gary Pinkel coached 12 years on the University of Washington staff. The Huskies produced five NFL quarterbacks during that time. In his decade-plus as head coach at Missouri, that same QB lineage is developing.
Brad Smith, Chase Daniel, Blaine Gabbert. Missouri’s quarterback tradition has blossomed under Pinkel.
“We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of good quarterbacks,” Pinkel said. “It’s a little bit evaluation. In our business, if you can have consistency of impact player at that position, that’s good. You might coach a little bit longer.”
The new Missouri quarterback is James Franklin, a sophomore from the Dallas suburb of Corinth.
“James was the backup last year,” Pinkel said. “Got a chance to get some playing time. That’ a plus. James is a really good athlete.”
Many in Missouri have compared Franklin to Smith, who was a scrambling run threat who has carved an NFL career as an all-purpose player.
“People ask me to compare him to Brad Smith,” Pinkel said. “Brad’s a leaner type athlete. An extreme athlete. James has got great movement. He can extend the play. He can do damage with his feet. Has a good arm, good touch, has a lot going for him.
“We all know the transition of quarterback is something you have to deal with. One comparison, personality wise, James and Brad Smith are a lot alike. They’re not rah-rah guys. The greatest leadership you can do as a player is play well. Second, you mature as a young quarterback in your leadership. I think he’s doing fine there. Most important thing he can do is play well.
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