The Bizarre Path Of Ex-Mizzou QB Tyler Gabbert
To be fair, he had some pretty big shoes to fill.
Standing at 6-foot-4, Blaine Gabbert was the prototypical NFL size coming out of high school. The 5-star QB out of the St. Louis area was Mizzou’s most hyped prospect in years, and was a shoe-in 1st round draft pick despite a slightly underwhelming junior season, his second as a starter.
As Blaine assumed the starting job in 2009 and passed with flying colors, word began to get out that he wasn’t the only Gabbert with Mizzou on his mind: his younger brother Tyler was earning All-Conference honors and a 4-star rating at Blaine’s alma mater, Parkway West High School.
In a recruiting trail remarkably similar to his older brother’s, Tyler took an official visit to Nebraska before ultimately deciding to follow in Blaine’s footsteps at Missouri (Blaine had previously committed to Nebraska before decommitting and signing with Missouri).
Also much like Blaine, who came to Missouri behind established starter Chase Daniel, Tyler entered the program knowing that his chance would come after big brother had left for greener ($$) pastures.
That chance came and went in the blink of James Franklin’s eye.
Franklin ultimately won the QB job during the spring practices of 2011 after being utilized mostly as a running compliment to Blaine during his freshman year. At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Franklin must have offered more of a dual threat option than Gabbert did at 6-feet, 185 pounds.
With the understanding that it would take a Franklin injury to earn a chance at a starting spot, Gabbert began a bizarre transfer process. Rumors began swirling that he was interested in Wyoming of all places, and even Kansas popped up in the forum discussion. However, he ultimately landed in Louisville. You heard me correctly, Tyler Gabbert transferred to Louisville for maybe two weeks before reportedly scrambling back to Coach Pinkel for a second chance. Gary would have none of it, and Tyler somehow found himself at Central Florida, just a two-and-a-half hour drive away from the big bro that he just can’t seem to get away from.
In the end, a talented Tyler Gabbert never had the size to be the quarterback that Blaine was in college. With the similar career paths taking the Gabbert brothers from St. Louis, to almost-Nebraska, to Mizzou, to Florida, I think it is about time for someone to tell Tyler that the shoe just doesn’t fit, no matter how hard you pull on the laces.