Ever wondered what a Mizzou team that was comprised of only Missouri kids would look like? Or wonder how good an only-Texan Mizzou squad would do? Well, you’re in luck! This offseason, the Rock M Masthead is assembling the best team of Mizzou players by state that they graduated high school from. We compiled a list of the significant starters on every team from the year 2000 on and voted on the best players at their position group in order to create three “All-State” Mizzou squads: Team Missouri, Team Texas, and Team USA. Over the next nine weeks you’ll read about these Mizzou Greats that hailed from the respective regions and, hopefully, come away impressed with just how good these fictional teams could actually be.
We start this week, of course, with the quarterbacks.
Team USA Quarterback: Brad Smith
No offense to Maty Mauk or Kelly Bryant’s efforts...but there was only one correct answer here.
I wrote last year about Brad Smith’s dynamic abilities as Missouri’s starting quarterback for four years; here’s a reminder:
Smith didn’t have the conference or national recognition that Daniel had, but look upon Smith’s works, ye Mighty, and despair (for Missouri opponents):
First player in FBS history to pass for 8,000 yards and rush for 4,000 yards in a career
First player in FBS history to pass for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in a season twice in a career
Second player in FBS history to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards in a season
Fourth player in FBS history to score 200 points and pass for 200 points in a career
Sixth player in FBS history to run for 200 yards and pass for 200 yards in a single game (vs. Nebraska in 2005)
Most rushing yards in FBS history by a freshman quarterback
First in school history in career rushing yards (4,289), touchdowns (45), and single season rushing touchdowns (18 - 2003)
Second in school history in total career offensive yards (13,088)
Second AND fourth in school history in single season rushing yards (1,406 - 2003 and 1,301 - 2005)
Third in school history in career passing yards (8,799) and touchdowns (56)
Accounted for five (5) rushing touchdowns and 291 yards rushing against Texas Tech in 2003
Brad Smith helped get the Tigers to their first bowl game since 1998. He helped beat Nebraska for the first time in 24 years. And he made the Tigers a legitimate threat for the first time in decades based off of his athleticism alone. Pinkel’s rebuild was slow and deliberate, and at times Smith felt like a violin virtuoso playing in a Tennessee jug band. But his electric ability to make plays in a way that the college game had rarely seen before was absolutely mesmerizing. It got to the point where you could see a sliver of an opening on the field and know that he could hit it and be gone. And he did it all while being, essentially, the only threat on the field.
Smith was the first dynamic player of the Pinkel regime and the first glimpse of what a dual-threat quarterback can do at the college level. Smith walked so others - Terrelle Pryor, Colin Kaepernick, Nick Marshall, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, Justin Fields - could run (literally!). His contributions to the sport ranks among some of the most important performances in the history of the game...and he played for Missouri.
Brad Smith is easily one of the best recruits Missouri has had outside of the Missouri-Texas footprint and is easily the best quarterback of that region as well.