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Brady Cook named starting QB for opener against Louisiana Tech

After an offseason of wondering, Mizzou fans got the answer to the team’s most pressing question.

Missouri v Georgia Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

It was a long offseason of debate amongst followers of Missouri football. Who would be the starting quarterback?

After seeing potential transfers come to town, many wondered whether or not Eliah Drinkwitz was satisfied with the QBs he had in the room currently. After Gerry Bohanan entertained the idea of playing for the Tigers, Jack Abraham (formerly of Miss State and Southern Miss) became the only transfer to actually end up in Columbia.

Many also wondered if highly-touted true freshman Sam Horn had a shot at the job. Most major recruiting sites listed him as a 4-star recruit (a few others had him as a 5-star), and the Georgia product had all the physical tools to come in and take over.

However, as fall camp progressed, it became more and more clear that Brady Cook led the way, with Tyler Macon behind him. Today, it became official.

Brady Cook will be the starting quarterback when the Tigers take the field against Louisiana Tech on September 1st.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 13 South Carolina at Missouri Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What He’s Done Up To This Point

Statistics: 417 passing yards, 80% comp., 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 82 rushing yards, 1 touchdown

Cook joined the Tigers as a 3-star recruit out of Chaminade High School in St. Louis in 2020. After redshirting behind then-starter Connor Bazelak that same year, Cook saw significant playing time in 2021 due to injuries and inconsistencies at the quarterback spot. In starts against Georgia and Army (the latter of which he played the entire game), Cook was solid yet unimpressive.

However, he did show that he is smart with the ball, can make things happen with his legs, and has the toughness needed to play quarterback in this conference. Over the offseason, the redshirt sophomore has taken on more of a leadership role with this team. The Brady Cook era now begins at Mizzou.

My Quick Take

I have been a larger proponent of Brady Cook than most this offseason, but I do believe it is for good reason.

For starters, I’m really impressed by how smart Cook was with the ball against some top tier defenses last season. Most young quarterbacks struggle with that, but he showed no signs of being a turnover problem.

His ability to run brings a dynamic that Bazelak did not provide for Drinkwitz, and I think it is safe to say that Drink wants a dual-threat quarterback running his offense. It really opens up the playbook for him and can help out an offensive line that sometimes struggles against SEC foes. Look back at his success with a guy like Zac Thomas at Appalachian State. Thomas ran for 7 touchdowns in 2019 and was a gritty runner much like Cook is.

Lastly, in my eyes, Cook carries himself like a starting quarterback. I’ve thought that since last season. His demeanor and confidence are well-beyond his years, and I think, more so than anything, that is what won him this job. Macon and Horn may have more upside, and Abraham may be more proven, but Cook has an “it” factor that can’t be ignored.

He will still need to take major leaps forward with his downfield passing, accuracy and defensive reads if this team is to truly take another step forward in 2022. The defense is looking like it is going to hold up its end up of the bargain, but I am not 100% sold on Cook being a guy that will lead Mizzou past that perceived 6-7 ceiling this season. We will have to see if he can take the next step from good to great this year, otherwise Macon, Horn, and Abraham will be eagerly waiting in his wake.

On a completely different note...I am stunned that this decision came so early. Drinkwitz has tended to be the coach that waits until game week/days before to announce any starters, injuries, etc. Cook may have been showing him exactly what he needed to see in fall camp, or maybe the competition began to struggle. Or, maybe he wanted to hush the noise and let this team move forward with Cook as the starter. Whatever it may be, Drink certainly keeps everyone on their toes.

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