Top Ten Mizzou Football Plays in 2010
Mizzou's Aldon Smith heading to NFL early
Friday, January 7, 2011
Mizzou is losing another one to the NFL early.
Sophomore defensive end Aldon Smith has declared for the draft, the school announed today.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert already had decided to leave school early.
After redshirting in 2008, Smith became set a school record with 11.5 sacks in 2009 and was named Big 12 defensive freshman and defensive newcomer of the year.
His 2010 season was hampered by a leg injury that kept him out of three games, but he returned in time to grab a key interception in his first game back against Oklahoma as Mizzou won, 36-27.
In 10 games in 2010, Smith had 48 total tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 quarterback sacks.
Smith was named 1st-Team All-Big 12 by league coaches for his play in 2010, and his 17 career sacks ties him for sixth-best on the MU charts.
"I'd like to thank everyone at Mizzou for supporting me," Smith said in a statement released by the school. "The coaches, our fans and alumni, everyone has been great, and they've definitely helped me get to this point. It's been my dream for as long as I can remember to play in the NFL, so this is something I'm really excited for," he said.
Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel said that he is supportive of Smith's decision.
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Gabbert leaving Mizzou early for NFL draft
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Interrupting Mizzou's near-decade succession of quarterback continuity and instantly transforming the Tigers' 2011 prospects from prosperous to less clear, junior quarterback Blaine Gabbert announced Monday he would make himself eligible for the NFL draft.
"This is definitely a bittersweet day for me," Gabbert, a Parkway West graduate, said in a statement released by Mizzou. "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 me and my family."
It's uncertain what ultimately informed Gabbert's reasoning. Gabbert's father, Chuck, didn't want to immediately expand on his son's statement, and MU has not disclosed the evaluation of his potential draft status from the NFL draft advisory board.
But in general, MU coach Gary Pinkel has the stance that if a player is projected as a first-round pick by the advisory board he should make himself available.
Russ Lande of GM Jr. Scouting Co. predicts Gabbert will be the No. 2 quarterback taken in the draft, probably a late first-round pick and at worst a mid-second round pick.
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