COLUMBIA — According to the MU Athletic Department, junior quarterback Blaine Gabbert has decided to forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility and make himself available for the 2011 NFL draft.
ESPN is predicting that Gabbert will be one of the top two quarterbacks available in the draft, along with Stanford's Andrew Luck. Luck is also a junior, and he has not made a final decision on if he will enter the draft.
- ESPN: Blaine Gabbert's 2011 NFL Draft Profile
- SB Nation: 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Andrew Luck Remains No. 1 Overall Pick
- Quad City Times: Mizzou's Gabbert more than a great passer
- Opposing Views: 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Patrick Peterson, Andrew Luck, Gabbert, Bowers
- Bleacher Report: Blaine Gabbert: Declares For 2011 NFL Draft, Gabbert Joins Andrew Luck As Top QB
- Columbia Tribune: Gabbert is gone: Tigers QB entering NFL draft
- PowerMizzou.com: Bye Bye Blaine
- ESPN: Gabbert's successor not necessarily a given
“This is definitely a bittersweet day for me, I was really looking forward to having a chance to do some special things next season with my teammates, but in the end, this is the right decision to make for myself and my family,” Gabbert said in a news release from the Missouri Athletic Department.
“These last three years have been an unbelievable experience for me, and I’ll miss being at Mizzou, but I’m definitely looking forward to this next stage of my life. I’m so grateful to have been part of such a great program and all of the people who have helped me get to this point, and now I have to take what I’ve learned, and build on that for the next level. I’ll always be a Tiger, and I look forward to watching the guys do big things in the future."
The news of Gabbert's decision to enter the draft caused quite a buzz on Twitter on Monday afternoon. Here's what some people had to say:
- @KBrettAustin: ESPN's Todd McShay now has #Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert as the fifth overall pick in the draft, going to the Cardinals.
- @BlumbergOTB: Heard from @ChaseDaniel on #Gabbert, "In my opinion he will be a top 5 pick... I know for a fact he is going to be successful in the NFL."
- @bcbleacherrep: Blaine Gabbert's going pro, eh? I guess he's praying to get picked up by Detroit. What's the old saying? If you can't beat em...
- @Chris_Hamblin: Blaine Gabbert would fit perfect into the Cardinals system. He's the type of passer that will make jaws drop at the combine. #cards
- @kylewaymon: I agree 100% with @DEFlynn in that Gabbert leaving really sets #mizzou football back. Not going to win the Big 12 without him
- @The_Ttime: Gabbert jus entered the draft.. Cam Newton jus fell a few picks
- @mattwaite: Dear Mizzou fan: Thought it was funny when Gabbert screwed Nebraska, didn't you? Payback is a bitch. Signed, Nebraska fan.
- @TheBenham12: Is it bad that I am selfishly hoping for Gabbert to not hire and agent and then change his mind tomorrow?
- @Shmeremy: After the way #Mizzou fans treated him, I completely understand why Gabbert is leaving. this is why we can't have nice things.
- @MSchornheuser: Dear NFC West, Draft Blaine Gabbert. The Rams defense needs some confidence boosting games. #lotsofdumbdecisions #ramswin
- @GabeDeArmond: For those handing the starting QB job to James Franklin, slow down. Could be with Gabbert gone, the starting QB is Gabbert.
- @samuelpletsgo: Blaine Gabbert is the Lebron James of Columbia, MO...
- @ADSlater: Best of luck to @BlaineGabbert in his journey to the draft. Thanks for all the great MIZZOU memories.
- @TylerGabbert: Unbelievably happy for my bro! What a great opportunity lies ahead. Gonna miss him being my mentor but when one door closes, another opens!
- @JetJetJetJet: MU should scour the country for a kid named Chase Gabbert. Even if he's never played a snap. He'll be named "The One"
- @OptimumScouting: Great move, we liked him all year, could be backup plan for un-Luck-y teams RT @CFTalk: QB Blaine Gabbert will enter 2011 NFL draft.
- @TJMoe28: Blaine is one of the best pure football players I've ever been privileged to be around. He's smart, tough, a great leader, and he cares...