Gilbert to transfer

It’s official, injured QB Garrett Gilbert will transfer leaving the Longhorns with Case McCoy, David Ash and 2012 commit Connor Brewer next year. So now two questions arise, A) Where will Gilbert go? and B) Will UT recruit another quarterback in it’s 2012 class?

A) There is already a report that Gilbert was visiting the SMU campus today, but unless you are a fan of Mustangs you can’t really read about it on Almost as soon as there is a report about Gilbert visiting SMU, there is a story about how SMU shouldn’t go after him. You know things are pretty bad when the talk is should SMU go after Gilbert instead of should Gilbert go after SMU. Reports are he has four or five other schools on his radar (two others that were brought up were TCU and Clemson, but both teams have young QBs).

B) Guessing who the Longhorns will go after – and that’s IF they go after another QB for the 2012 class – is a little tougher. Looking at the Rivals rankings of players with Texas on their short list of schools, the top two are three-star recruits Jared Johnson of South Grand Prairie HS (who has his eyes set on Baylor) and Jeremiah Briscoe from Stratford HS (no offers yet … yay?). Of course, another name that pops up is local product and dual-threat QB Ben Johnson of Westwood HS. He has offers from Texas State and Rice, but one has to think if the burnt orange and white came calling, he’d answer. But I’m no expert, and I haven’t read any of these names anywhere else yet so don’t take them to heart.

One thing I will say about Gilbert is that I’m really sad to see him go … officially. I had a lot of high hopes for him and now I just hope he can find some success elsewhere. I really wish him the best.

Try to remember the good times Garrett … and good luck!

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May the Force be with Texas

Andy Staples of has an interesting way of framing his power rankings columns. This week the theme is Star Wars and he compares the No. 11 Longhorns to … Princess Leia??? He actually makes some valid points but still, Princess Leia? Below is his comparison. See if you agree.

Princess Leia: In Empire, Yoda reminds Obi-Wan that “There is another.” Though Episode Three — which shows Obi-Wan McGregor assisting in Luke’s and Leia’s birth — muddies this scene a bit, it seems Yoda is referring to Leia, who also should have the Midi-chlorian count to make a fine Jedi. At Texas, quarterback Case McCoy (brother of Colt) and receiver Jaxon Shipley (brother of Jordan) are helping the Longhorns forget all about a miserable 2010. McCoy is splitting time with freshman David Ash, but Shipley, who caught six passes for 141 yards and a touchdown against Iowa State, looks like a breakout star. If the Longhorns’ defense can force turnovers the way it did against the Cyclones and the offense can take advantage, Texas will have a chance to win every game remaining on its schedule. That includes Saturday’s matchup with Oklahoma in Dallas. Remember, Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin — formerly of Boise State — once called a pretty good game against the Sooners with far less raw athletic talent on his side.

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Longhorns losing depth, Brewster out

It was reported yesterday that backup safety Nolan Brewster will give up football, leaving Texas thin at the safety position. Brewster suffered a severe concussion during the Longhorns’ latest victory against UCLA and cited his history of  post-traumatic migraines and concussions as the cause for his sudden departure. He is the second Longhorn in as many years to drop out of the program due to head injuries. Former Texas running back Tre Newton showed promise until his career was cut short by the same concussion issues.

So what do the Horns do now? Luckily, suspended safety Christian Scott returns to action this week after sitting out three games for off-the-field issues. As long as fellow safeties Blake Gideon and Kenny Vaccaro stay healthy, the production from the position shouldn’t suffer as those two have seen the most time on the field already this season. Once Scott shakes off the rust, he should actually be an upgrade from Brewster. Mack Brown may need to start breaking in some of the young guys soon though because looking ahead to next year there could be a scenario where your entire two-deep at safety from the beginning of this season is all gone (Brewster is gone, Gideon and Scott are seniors, and Vaccaro is draft eligible). Look for guys like Mykkele Thompson and Sheroid Evans to get some PT during mop-up time.

So as the Texas depth chart gets thinner and thinner (remember, the horns are down to only two QBs after Garrett Gilbert announced he was having season-ending shoulder surgery) you may see even more young players on the field – if you can believe it. Pray for all Texas players to come out healthy (and with a W) against Iowa State so that Texas has its full roster against OU.

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UT 17, BYU 16: Who will be Texas’ QB?

I know it has taken me awhile to voice my post-game thoughts on Texas’ one-point victory over BYU. But excuse me if I can barely talk after screaming for a Longhorn comeback. If there is anything that can be said about the 17-16 win, it’s that home-field advantage played a huge role. After the 100,000+ crowd openly booed in the first half to get Garrett Gilbert off the field (And no Mack, everyone actually wasn’t booing you. It was absolutely aimed at Gilbert. It’s hard to justify booing a kid, but for most fans it was just too hard to hold their tongues any longer.) the fourth quarter brought cheers and excited from the burnt orange faithful as the defense needed the extra push to stop the Cougar offense. Not since 2009 have I heard that much noise at DKR. It felt like we were watching meaningful football again.

So the big question after the close win is this. Who will play quarterback for the Horns? The depth chart for UCLA shows Case McCoy and David Ash in an either/or position as the No. 1 and 2 QBs. But what can we truly expect from these two? Looking back at the film of the BYU game, McCoy rarely stood in the pocket to deliver a pass. Almost every completion came as a result of him breaking out of the collapsing pocket to deliver a pass. Yes he completed 7-8 passing, but how long can he survive like that with faster defenses approaching on the horizon. As for Ash, he only knows so many plays before he has to start repeating the same moves over and over again. He may end up being the full-time starter next season, but for now he’s limited.

Unfortunately, it seems like the best option would be for Gilbert to get his head right somehow and become the quarterback we all expected him to be. He has the physical tools (of which McCoy does not) and he has the knowledge and experience (of which Ash does not) to lead a football team. He just has to get through the mental roadblocks that are keeping him from succeeding. The best thing to see on the sidelines against BYU was that Gilbert “didn’t go into the tank” as Co-O Coordinator Bryan Harsin put it. Gilbert put on a headset and became another coach on the field, letting McCoy and Ash know what defensive looks BYU was giving him on the field. He may not start the game against UCLA, but I have no doubt in my mind that we have not seen the last of Gilbert as a starter for UT.

Let’s just hope this merry-go-round ends soon, because when you have three quarterbacks you actually have none. As cliche as it sounds, it applies.

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Final: 17-16, Winning sometimes ain’t pretty

Thanks you recruiting class of 2011. This game would have been a loss if not for big plays made by the freshmen (and a reinvigorated defense). Comeback completed.

Something tells me that every win for the rest of the year is going to be this hard. It will be a while before Texas wins pretty again.

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