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2011 Missouri Football Preview Bonus: Berkstresser's Transformation

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(Written by RPT.)

Missouri fans raised a skeptical eyebrow when Corbin Berkstresser committed, calling into question the possibility of in-state nepotism after seeing sophomore year stats that were middling at best. But under the tutelage of new Lee’s Summit head coach Eric Thomas, questions faded as the transition to a spread-based scheme allowed Berkstresser to blossom in his senior season.

In Thomas’ system, Berkstresser threw for more than 3,300 yards with a 6-to-1 TD:INT ratio, in addition to a surprising level of effectiveness triggering the zone read.

As Thomas nurtured Berkstresser’s mental development, Skip Stitzell -- he of "Blaine Gabbert’s personal QB coach" fame -- continued his work with Berkstresser’s physical growth. Blessed with a strong arm and a natural delivery, Berkstresser used the back end of his high school career to develop the touch that will be required of him, particularly against the second level of the defenses Missouri is accustomed to facing.

Stitzell raved about Berkstresser’s mental growth under the direction of Thomas in a January article by Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune. From all accounts, Berkstresser’s mental game is starting to meet his raw ability, and that’s an exciting proposition for Missouri fans.