What was once a great story about a high school quarterback who was destined to be the next big thing has turned into what could be the biggest disaster of the Mack Brown era. Chris Doelle called Garrett Gilbert the best quarterback he's ever seen and rightfully so. He won two state championships at Lake Travis High School in Texas and holds the record for most passing yards by a quarterback in state history.
His accolades don't end there. He was the Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year, an award which has been won by such stars as LeBron James, Dwight Howard, and Matt Barkley. He also was named USA Today Offensive Player of the Year, Texas Associated Press Sports Editors Class 4A Player of the Year, and EA Sports Mr. Football USA.
Gilbert was rated five stars by every recruiting agency in the country and eventually decided to go to the University of Texas. Hopes were high for him and fans believed him to be "the one."
After all, Vince Young was a five star prospect who took his team to a state championship appearance and won a college championship in the 2005 season. Colt McCoy was a three star prospect who took his team to a state championship appearance and the 2009 Longhorns to the national title game. He won more games than any college quarterback in history.
If Garrett Gilbert is benched, who do you want to see take his place?
Gilbert was a five star prospect who took his team to two state championship appearances and won them both. He won more awards as a high school athlete than McCoy and Young combined.
There was no way he could fail in the eyes of Texas fans. "Just look at his record," they said. But after a disastrous appearance in the national championship game and an even more disastrous 2010 season, Austin has begun to turn their back on Gilbert during the offseason.
Can you really blame Gilbert? Greg Davis took a lot of blame last season for his vanilla play calling but Gilbert never had a great game. Sure, Gilbert accounted for three touchdowns and had a 71 percent pass completion rate against Florida Atlantic but the Owls were a terrible team. He also led the upset against a Nebraska Cornhuskers team that was ranked 5th in the country but completed only four passes for 62 yards while attempting 16 throws.
To be fair to Garrett, he had a nice game against Texas Tech regardless of the interceptions but any bright spots during the season were overshadowed by turnovers and horrible throws. The Kansas State game was the result of an absolute failure of the Texas offense and five turnovers by Gilbert only made things worse.
But Greg Davis left and Bryan Harsin took his place. This might be the change Gilbert needs! He will bring the Boise State offense to Austin and will turn Garrett into a touchdown machine! All of our problems are over and the Longhorns will embark on a journey that will reward them with a Heisman quarterback and national championships flowing like water!
Then reports of off-season practices began creeping out to news outlets.
The first scrimmage in August brought terrible news to fans as Gilbert was reported to have thrown two interceptions and collected one first down. As days have gone by, Gilbert has been getting fewer and fewer snaps with the first team and David Ash and Case McCoy have been splitting the majority.
Could it be possible that Gilbert isn't leading the QB competition? It's possible but then again, they may be trying to figure out who will be his backup. Either way, Gilbert's future with the Longhorns is still up in the air.
He had a terrible spring game and with fans clamoring for something new, it's going to be interesting to see how this season plays out. If Mack Brown gives Gilbert the reins then he's going to be on a very short leash. It will not surprise me if David Ash sees some playing time this season and possibly takes over the new Texas offense.
If Mack Brown thinks Gilbert is the man to lead the team then he should start until he's no longer effective. Keeping him in a game similar to the Kansas State game will be unacceptable.