COLUMBIA, Mo. (MUTigers.com) - University of Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel announced this evening that senior James Franklin has been named the starting quarterback for the 2013 season. The Corinth, Texas, native has been atop the depth chart all fall, but was locked in a competitive battle with redshirt freshman Maty Mauk (from Kenton, Ohio).
Pinkel said that both quarterbacks have been impressive, but settling on Franklin was the right call for the team.
"James has shown that he's very capable of leading this team at a high level, and we fully expect him to do that," said Pinkel. "He's really developed as a leader of this offense, and of this team, and we feel he's ready to be the difference maker he was before all of the health challenges he dealt with last season," said Pinkel.
Pinkel said that Mauk continued his positive strides, and that the staff is considering giving him some planned series per game to give him experience.
"We have a history with that, and it's something that has worked very well for us," said Pinkel. "When Brad Smith was a senior, we had Chase Daniel as a freshman show that he earned a series or two per game, and that was tremendous for his growth. When Blaine Gabbert was in his last year here, James Franklin was a freshman, and we got him some work on a fairly regular basis, and we feel that was instrumental in what he was able to do the next year as a starter," he said.
Pinkel said that making this type of announcement isn't typical of how he issues this news, but he said the circumstances called for the adjustment.
"Obviously, quarterback draws the most attention from media and fans, so we just felt like it made sense to end the speculation since we knew the course we're taking," he said.
Mizzou has completed 14 practices in its 2013 fall camp as it continues to prepare for its season opener against Murray State, set for Saturday, August 31st at 6 p.m. (central time) at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium.