Adding a blue chip quarterback to the roster is becoming an annual tradition at Missouri. According to Rivals, the Tigers signed five blue chip quarterbacks - total - from 2000 to 2020. If Gabarri Johnson signs with Missouri, it will be the third straight year Eli Drinkwitz has added a 4-star quarterback to the roster.
Johnson is a 4-star recruit out of Tacoma, Washington. He held other offers from the likes of Arkansas, Oregon, Washington and Utah among others. The fourth rated dual-threat quarterback in the country became Missouri’s fourth known commitment in their 2023 class when he announced his commitment Sunday afternoon.
Johnson was highly productive in his first full season as the starting quarterback at Lincoln High School. He finished with more than 2,400 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns and more than 650 rushing yards to go along with 14 rushing touchdowns. His junior season earned him honors as the 3A Pierce County League player of the year.
Where he fits: Eli Drinkwitz has made it known with his actions rather than his words that he prefers a mobile quarterback. He added Tyler Macon in the 2021 class and Sam Horn in the 2022 class. He’s courted the Gerry Bohanon and Jayden Daniels as potential transfers. He did great work with Zac Thomas as his starting quarterback at Appalachian State in 2019.
The only outliers at quarterback in recent years for Drinkwitz are Connor Bazelak, who he inherited, and the pursuit of JT Daniels. Daniels seemed to be a special circumstance in which the talent and accuracy was simply so great it was too much to pass up.
When he’ll play: Good luck answering this question. Is Brady Cook the starter this year? How does he play? Does Drinkwitz land a transfer quarterback as he’s been trying to do at seemingly every turn? Does Sam Horn get drafted higher than expected in the MLB Draft and opt to go pro in baseball instead of playing football for Mizzou? What’s the future look like for Tyler Macon? Is it over before it began?
It all plays into Johnson’s future at Mizzou.
That said, Johnson is going to require some development - both on and off the field. His accuracy reportedly comes and goes. He’s definitely going to have to put on some more size, which shouldn’t be difficult in a college weight program. Starting as a true freshman is always quite a surprise at quarterback. Anything after that is up in the air.
What it all means: Missouri added another blue chip talent to the quarterback room. Johnson has a strong arm, a special ability to take off and run, and some swagger in his game, as well.
It’s hard to predict what the future looks like for Missouri at quarterback. So much of that depends on what happens over the next six months. Whatever the immediate future, Johnson adds yet another talented player to compete in the future.