It’s all about opportunity. When it presents itself, and what’s done with it.

Case in point: Missouri quarterback Dylan Laible.

He’s not the transfer hype of Jake Garcia, or the young hope of Sam Horn, or the known commodity of returning starter Brady Cook.

He’s 6-5, and he’s 200 pounds on a good day — and he can sling it.

“I’ll tell you, the guy I’m really impressed with is Dylan Laible,” Mizzou coach Eli Drinkwitz said. “He has taken advantage of every rep he has gotten.”

Cook is out for spring practice rehabbing after shoulder surgery. Horn is still dealing with an injury he sustained while playing baseball.

That has left Garcia, who transferred from Miami, and Laible — a 2-time Junior College All-American at Hutchinson Community College — competing for first-team repetitions heading into Saturday’s spring game.

And just in case you think Laible is a placeholder, or a spring practice arm, check out this throw.

Missouri hasn’t had a quarterback make that kind of throw — off schedule, on a roll, throwing halfway across his body and dropping a dime — since Drinkwitz arrived in Columbia in 2020.

So yeah, excuse Drinkwitz if he wants to brag on his transfer quarterback who isn’t technically part of a strong transfer portal class. He’s a preferred walk-on (that could change quickly), who had FBS scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan and North Texas and decided to walk on to a program whose quarterback room looked like this:

  • Cook, who has 14 career starts, but is rehabbing surgery on his throwing shoulder.
  • Horn, the highest-ranked QB recruit at Missouri in years, who threw all of 2 passes last season in mop-up time against New Mexico State.
  • Garcia, a former blue-chip recruit who started 3 games for Miami over 2 seasons.
  • Gabarri Johnson, a 4-star recruit from the 2023 recruiting class, who won’t arrive until this summer.

Laible threw for 5,812 yards at Hutchinson and had a QB/INT ratio of 65/13. He averaged 9.3 yards per attempt.

Who knows where this thing goes, but at this point in spring practice — with so much uncertainty at the position — why would Drinkwitz not let it play out and see what the walk-on from Little Elm, Texas can do with first-team reps?

Is it really that much of a stretch to see what Georgia did the past 2 seasons with former walk-on Stetson Bennett, and not at least let it play out?

“(Laible) makes really good throws and decisions,” Drinkwitz said. “You can tell he has played a lot of football. The speed of the game doesn’t bother him, and he’s been able to quickly grasp our system.”

In a time when Drinkwitz has given up his job as offensive coordinator and play-caller — and hired former Fresno State OC Kirby Moore — a new system and 2 new quarterbacks have energized spring practice. Cook and Horn are expected to be healthy when the team returns in August, and the job will be wide open.

But that doesn’t mean Garcia and Laible can’t make a lasting impression in the moment. Moore is also the quarterbacks coach, and he’s coaching all of the quarterbacks without preconceptions.

While he and Drinkwitz will make the decision on who plays, the opportunity is there for Garcia and Laible to find their place in an offense that has been inconsistent in each of Drinkwitz’s 3 seasons.

The Tigers added wideout Theo Wease from Oklahoma, and more important, kept former 5-star wideout Luther Burden from leaving for a bigger Power 5 program and more NIL dollars. A majority of the top-5 SEC defense returns, too.

“I’m excited about where we are,” Drinkwitz said, and he has said it so much this spring, he jokes about saying it more. There’s a good feeling on the field, and a tight bond growing in the locker room.

A year ago at this time, Drinkwitz had just promoted Blake Baker to defensive coordinator after Steve Wilks left for a job with the Carolina Panthers. Drinkwitz had just hired Baker weeks earlier to coach safeties.

But Wilks left and opportunity arrived, and the next thing you know, Missouri dramatically improved under Baker in nearly every defensive metric: points per game, turnovers gained, sacks, tackles for loss and opponent 3rd-down conversion.

The Tigers led the SEC in tackles for loss (94).

Why not get a similar change with another opportunity embraced, this time by a walk-on at the most important position on the field. All it takes is seizing the opportunity.

And what you do with it.