Size: 6-4, 215
High School: Austin Lake Travis (TX)
2011 Review: Gilbert got thrown into action on college football's biggest stage his freshmen year in the national championship game against Alabama and matured throughout the contest to give Longhorn fans hope that there would be a quarterback who could step in after Colt McCoy graduated.
Instead, Gilbert led the Longhorns to a 5-7 record, and the team missed a bowl game. The offense was a major reason why and Bryan Harsin was hired from Boise State to ignite a major overhaul. Gilbert started the first two games in 2011, but was pulled in the second half of their second game against BYU after two interceptions.
After being booed off the field, Gilbert decided he had played his last game in burnt orange and was granted his release from his scholarship. Before deciding to transfer, Gilbert underwent season-ending surgery on his throwing shoulder and applied for a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA. The combination of a less than stellar supporting cast and a new offense was part of the reason why Gilbert committed so many turnovers before his departure.
Early on in Gilbert's second round of recruitment, it became clear that SMU was his number one choice, but there were plenty of things holding up the transfer. Gilbert would have only one year if he was not granted a medical hardship waiver and he would have had to sit out a year as well.
While Gilbert awaited his medical hardship waiver decision by the NCAA, he decided on SMU and head coach June Jones had an idea for Gilbert to graduate early and become immediately eligible even if it meant he would have to take 27 hours to graduate this past spring. Gilbert did it and is enrolled in summer school and working to form a bond with his new teammates and gain an understanding of Jones' offense.
Career Grade: C+
Outlook in 2012: Gilbert's skill set is perfect for the Run N' Shoot offense that June Jones has made famous. The system is predicated on short to medium passes and taking shots down the field when defenses creep up on the run and short passing game.
In the 2010 season, Gilbert completed 60 percent of his medium to short situations with a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio, which proves he can handle moving the ball through the short passing game. Gilbert has plenty more room to grow in Dallas. His freshman year numbers were better than Josh Freeman's and Brady Quinn's so that should be encouraging for Mustang fans.
Gilbert has two key playmakers already on offense for him to get the ball to in senior running back Zach Line and senior wide receiver Darius Johnson, who are as consistent and explosive as they come.
The rest of the receiving corps is untested so expect Gilbert to be looking for Johnson plenty of times early in the season and relying on Line to provide a strong ground game to open up the pass. Gilbert is accurate and was praised for his leadership qualities coming out of high school. He will need to step up and become the leader at SMU if he wins the starting job.
Gilbert has the unique opportunity to start over in a new environment and take charge of the team even though he is one of the new faces. Gilbert has seen a lot of things over the past three years at Texas, from being thrown in against the best defense in the country on the game's biggest stage to being booed off the field against BYU in his final game at Texas. Those experiences for Gilbert have helped him mature and have toughened him up.
Coming out of high school, Gilbert was viewed as the coolest customer around. He once completed 24 straight passes against the state's number one defense in the state semi-finals. When he got to Texas, people expected that to continue after watching Colt McCoy finish his incredible career, but it did not and now Gilbert has moved on.
The Mustangs biggest question mark is at quarterback, but if Gilbert can shake off his inconsistent play from his past and take his game to the next level, the Mustangs will reach new heights this season with Gilbert at the helm.
Player Profile Series: QB Garrett Gilbert
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