Gilbert to play with four other Texas commits

The Under Armour All-America game in Orlando has a chance to be a glimpse into the future of the Texas offense. For the next week, five future Longhorns will practice and play together in the same huddle. The Texas quintet includes three offensive linemen, a tight end, and a High School Player of the Year quarterback.

The Under Armour All-America game will be a showcase game for many of the best players in the country. The game will be played in the Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando on Sunday, January 4, 2009 and will be aired by ESPN.

The Texas Longhorns have five current commits playing in the game. All five are playing for the Black team offense.

The Black offense will be guided by the incredibly gifted hand of Lake Travis' Garrett Gilbert. Gilbert, who will wear #7 in the game, just wrapped up his second consecutive 4A Texas state title and in the process broke the Texas all-time passing yardage record with 12,534 yards. Gilbert was also named first team all-state, 4A Player of the Year, and Gatorade National Player of the Year.

Three future Longhorns will be protecting Gilbert in the game. Gilbert's high school teammate Paden Kelley (#70), Wolfforth Frenship's Mason Walters (#72), and Cedar Hill's Thomas Ashcraft (#75) will all man the offensive front for the Black team. Despite the fact that all three played left tackle as seniors, they could conceivably move around the line as is common in all-star games and all play together in front of Gilbert. All can play obviously left tackle. All could play right tackle. Walters can play center and Ashcraft could slide inside to play either guard spot.

All three lineman earned All-State honors as seniors. Ashcraft was first team AP All-State in the 5A division. Walters and Kelley were 4A All-State first teamers.

In addition to the three lineman, Galena Park North Shore's super talented tight end Barrett Matthews will also play for the Black squad. Matthews is a devastating blocker upfront for the Mustangs and when given a chance, flashes great hands and ability in the passing game. Matthews was his district's Offensive Player of the Year.

Burnt Orange Beat will be in Orlando later in the week to report on several practices.


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