In an interview with Judy Battista of NFL.com, former Texas and (more recently) SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert spoke openly about his 2011 transfer decision, admitting that the boo birds he heard at UT home games played a part in his choice to leave.
In Gilbert's own words:
Hearing boos again, not really being able to shake that, at that point I kind of knew it might be time to start over and wipe the slate clean. It's tough to sum up quickly. For whatever reason, things didn't work out. I think that led to some forcing the ball, trying to force things to happen. Maybe I read the papers a little too much, as well.
Coming out of Lake Travis High School in 2009, Gilbert was a 5-star recruit and the No. 14 overall player on the 247Sports Composite. As a true freshman, he served as Colt McCoy's backup and played a few snaps of mop-up duty during the regular season.
The Longhorns made it to the BCS National Championship Game against Alabama that season, and when McCoy was forced to leave with an injury, Gilbert was thrown into the fire.
He completed 15 of 40 passes for 186 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in the 37-21 loss.
Gilbert became the starter the following season and struggled. He threw 10 touchdowns to 17 interceptions, and the Longhorns finished 5-7. He began 2011 as the tentative starter as well, but after completing two of his first eight passes against BYU in Week 2, he was yanked from the lineup. He transferred in November of that year.
Gilbert revived his career in relative anonymity under June Jones at SMU the past couple seasons, most notably with 3,528 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 10 games this past year.
Jones said he could tell upon Gilbert's arrival that what happened at Texas had scarred him, telling Battista that "he had to get through some demons."
After a strong pro day, however, the 6'4" passer is finally starting to put his poor experience in Austin behind him and might be a sleeper in this weekend's NFL draft.
In his final seven-round mock draft, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller had Gilbert going to the St. Louis Rams with the No. 214 overall pick.
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT