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Best Recruits in Mizzou History: QB’s and RB’s

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During our position previews, we’ll also be taking a look back to see what were the best recruits in Mizzou history.

Missouri v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

QB’s: Blaine Gabbert

Blaine Gabbert probably doesn’t get the respect he deserves among the Mizzou faithful. He was the guy who made the trek down I-70 to stay home, be the face of the program, and eventually take over for Chase Daniel. It’s not like he didn’t have options. He was actually committed to then-rival, Nebraska. After the first of many buyouts that would come in Lincoln, Gabbert would later commit to Missouri and become the first five-star commit in the Rivals era for Mizzou. He was the number two overall QB behind Terrelle Pryor, and was actually ranked above Andrew Luck.

He lived up to the hype. In two seasons as a starter, he passed for over 6,700 yards, 40 TD’s and only 18 interceptions. Mizzou beat top ranked Oklahoma with Gabbert at the helm in 2010. They had a ten win season. He checked the boxes and left a year early to go to the NFL, and was actually drafted with the 10th overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He deserves all of the respect.

Nebraska v Missouri
Blaine Gabbert attempting a pass
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

RB’s: Tony Van Zant

There were some interesting choices to be made for the RB position. Brock Olivo and Tony Temple were also considered. However, I don’t think that either of those two players, despite the fact that they had better on field careers compared to the recruit or the hype that was Tony Van Zant. He had every sort of All-American honor there was to be had, and if there was a such thing as a five-star recruit, he would’ve been one. He has an argument to be the most prized commit in Missouri history.

However, things don’t always work as we plan them. By now, most Mizzou fans know the story. Tony tore his ACL in a post-season scrimmage and never was quite the same afterwards. He still contributed and did what he could, but it just never reached the levels some fans would have hoped. That still doesn’t take away the fact that every school in the country wanted him, and Mizzou was lucky enough to get him. Circumstances happen, but for a moment, one of the most prized recruits in the entire country chose Missouri over some of the peak years of Oklahoma and Nebraska. There’s something to be said for that.

Tony VanZant - Missouri Tigers