Garrett Gilbert Horns' First '09 Pledge

Three hundred and sixty four days from Signing Day, Texas landed its first commitment for the class of '09. With the ink barely dry on the LOIs for the class of '08, QB Garrett Gilbert announced Thursday at a press conference at Lake Travis High School his intention to play football for the University of Texas.

"I am here to announce my commitment to play football at the University of Texas," Garrett Gilbert said. "I feel very blessed and I'm looking forward to a great opportunity to go get a great education at Texas and to also play football at one of the best universities in the nation."

"It's been my dream to be a Longhorn every since I was a kid, just ever since I moved here to Austin," he added. "As soon as I got the offer I knew it's where I wanted to go."

Gilbert said that he received his official offer from Texas in the mail Wednesday, and immediately called Mack Brown and let the Texas head coach know he wanted to be a Horn.

Until today, Gilbert had been tight-lipped through the early recruiting process, instead focusing on his junior season at Lake Travis. That focus paid off.

In Lake Travis' 15-1, Class 4A state championship season in 2007, the junior Gilbert passed for a state record 4,827 yards, completing 360 of 556 attempts (both also state records), with 52 TDs and 12 INTs.

But with the title season in the books, Gilbert turned his attention to his college future. And the close-to-home Horns won out over a field that included Texas Tech, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Arizona and Stanford (all offered).

It appears that Gilbert's focus will quickly return to his Lake Travis team looking to repeat as state champions.

"I really wanted to get this out of the way so I can focus on the off-season as we prepare for this next high school year," the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Gilbert said.

Texas did not sign a quarterback in the 2008 class, a down year in the state for signal caller talent, but with Gilbert's commitment, the Horns have one of the top QB prospects in both the state and the country in a 2009 class deep in QB talent. Gilbert is ranked by as the state's No. 2 QB prospect, behind only Russell Shepard, and is a probable five-star talent.

Gilbert is the first member of an '09 class that the Texas coaches hope to grow substantially over the next few weeks, even at the QB position. Cy-Ridge QB/ATH Shepard, along with Gilbert and a host of the state's other top prospects, is scheduled to be in Austin this Sunday, Feb. 10, for UT's first Junior Day. (The Horns' second Junior Day is scheduled for Feb. 23, a day after Texas opens spring practice.) Mack Brown reiterated in his Signing Day comments Wednesday that Texas does not officially offer any prospects until it's previous class is officially signed.

And once the offer came, Gilbert did not hesitate.

Garrett Gilbert photo gallery

Audio: Garrett Gilbert's Commitment

Ross Lucksinger contributed to this report.

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