Quarterback Marvin Zanders hasn’t played a snap for Missouri.
Heck, he’s only been on campus for a month.
But Zanders (6-2, 185), a dual-threat quarterback from Raines High School in Jacksonville, Fla., already has made an impact with the Tigers — in recruiting.
Zanders helped Missouri flip two players from his hometown — wide receiver DeSean Blair, who had been committed to Louisville, and defensive end Spencer Williams, who had been committed to Cincinnati — who had pledged to other programs.
“He was very valuable,” associate head coach/quarterbacks coach Andy Hill said. “He was right in the middle of it. But that’s what happens. You look at it any more, it’s simple to see on Twitter and you know there’s also phone calls and texts. It’s big, and that’s become the way of the world.”
Of course, that’s not why Missouri recruited Zanders.
“He’s a great athlete and can really throw the football,” Hill said. “He’s a unique talent athletically. It opens up some things offensively, too.”
Zanders reminds some observers of a young Brad Smith.
“You hate to put a guy in that category until you see how he handles it, but he’s an exceptional athlete,” Hill said. “He’s got a chance.”
Maty Mauk will enter the spring as the odds-on favorite to land the job after leading Missouri to a 3-1 record during four starts in the heart of the SEC season after starting quarterback James Franklin suffered a separated shoulder.
Of course, Eddie Printz, who redshirted last season, is expected to mount a serious challenge.
Corbin Berkstresser from Lee’s Summit also has some starting experience and will be in the mix once again along with Trent Hosick, a Staley graduate with a year in the program under his belt.