We never want to call an injury a good thing. But in the case for current Missouri Tigers Quaterback Maty Mauk, last season’s shoulder injury to the now graduated senior James Franklin was a productive sacrifice.
It certainly can be said that Mauk is in everyone’s peripheral vision after his successful bout with fill-in duties for Franklin during 4 games of the 2013 regular season and intermittently throughout games even after Franklin returned.
But now Mauk is really starting to earn the recognition you definitely like to see for your school’s first-year starting quarterback. This time, Mauk’s name comes attached to the title of “best passer.”
The Sports Information Directors, or SIDs, of the SEC released their votes for 19 different categories, ranging from best athlete to most underrated player. But the “Best Passer” in the SEC went to Mauk, high praise for a guy in his first season as a starter.
Mauk beat out several returning starters for the accolade, including Auburn QB Nick Marshall who’s fresh off a national title appearance and who many believe is a prime Heisman Trophy candidate. He was the only Missouri player to make the SIDs’ list of the best in the conference.
The Kenton, Ohio native may not have the weapons that were at his disposal last season– the team lost big play-makers L’Damian Washington and Marcus Lucas to graduation and Dorial Green-Beckham was dismissed from the team in March– but he’s proven that he can be the play-maker himself.
He threw for 445 yards and a touchdown in Mizzou’s spring game, but even more impressively, he completed 64% of his passes.
His performance solidified him as the absolute leader of the offense and showed that you don’t need outrageously good wide receivers to be a successful quarterback. Mizzou is still expected to turn its young receivers into really good ones, it will just take some time under Mauk’s leadership to develop.
Most importantly, the redshirt sophomore now has the confidence which will separate the Maty Mauk of 2014 from the Maty Mauk of 2013. And the 2013 version threw for 903 passing yards in just four starts and was a missed chip shot field goal from going 4-0 as a starter. While it’s only his second season in action, he’ll be vital to the team’s success moving forward.
Since his successful stent in relief duties last season, Mauk has become a household name for Tiger fans. But hopefully after 2014, he’ll be a household name in the entire conference. He just got a “best passer” vote from a highly credible group. Now he just has to go out there and prove them right.