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Missouri backup QB Gabbert to transfer

- Associated Press - Monday, May 9, 2011

COLUMBIA, MO. (AP) - The battle to replace Blaine Gabbert as Missouri's starting quarterback is over. His younger brother, Tyler, has decided to transfer.

Coach Gary Pinkel said Monday that redshirt freshman Tyler Gabbert is leaving, ending the competition with sophomore James Franklin to succeed Blaine Gabbert as the Tigers' signal-caller.

Both players entered spring practice with what coaches called an equal shot at the starting job. Franklin was elevated to the top of the depth chart entering the fall after a stronger performance in the spring game.

He completed 13 of 21 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns, while Gabbert finished 8 of 22 for just 48 yards and the game's only interception.

"We wish Tyler the best and will do everything we can to assist him going forward," Pinkel said. "He's worked very hard in our program this past year, and we thank him for his efforts."

Sophomore Ashton Glaser will become the No. 2 quarterback, with freshman QB Corbin Berkstresser arriving in the fall.

As recently as last week, Gabbert spoke effusively to local reporters of a summer workout regimen involving throwing sessions with returning receivers T.J. Moe and Wes Kemp. He could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Franklin, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound prep star in Dallas, saw limited duty in 2010 as Blaine Gabbert's backup. He rushed 23 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns while completing 11 of 14 passes for one score.

Tyler Gabbert, who played high school football at the same suburban St. Louis school as his older brother, initially committed to Nebraska before switching to Missouri.

So did Blaine Gabbert, a two-year starter at Missouri who left school after his junior year and was chosen by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 10 overall pick less than two weeks ago. Tyler Gabbert joined his older brother in New York for the draft.

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