Gilbert talks the quarterback position

The Texas Longhorns have one of the top quarterbacks in the nation on the way. That much has been known for quite a while. On Wednesday after the ESPN/Under Armour practice, Gilbert sat down with Burnt Orange Beat to give everyone a glimpse of what goes into becoming one of the top quarterbacks in the country.

Some may say Garrett Gilbert was born to play quarterback. While that may be the case, Gilbert has put in plenty of time and effort becoming the player that people see today. After Wednesday's practice at Disney's Wide World of Sports, Gilbert took the time to speak to Burnt Orange Beat about the quarterback position.

Q: What is the first thing your father taught you about the quarterback position? Was there one thing that was most important early on?

A: Probably, just learning how to grip the ball and basic drop back stuff. Just fundamentals and then get more advanced as you go like reading the defense. Basically, it started with fundamentals.

Q: How much time did you spend on footwork and mechanics when you were younger?

A: My dad and I used to go out in the backyard and work on it (footwork) a lot. I think it becomes second nature. It's the key to playing quarterback. We worked a lot on it.

Q: Before each practice, is there a certain fundamental that you have in your mind to work on?

A: Everyday when I go out to practice, I always think about my footwork. That's something that you can never stop working on. Footwork is something that is probably one of the most important parts of being a quarterback. I always work on getting my drops better. If it's moving the foot two or three inches, it's very important.

Q: You played in the gun for the majority of the last three years. Is playing under center this week and in the future at Texas going to be adjustment for you?

A: It's a little bit different. We've worked on it, Coach Morris and I, a little bit this past offseason. This offseason, I'll be working a lot under the center on stuff because the spread has kind of become second nature to me. Working under center will balance it out a little bit.

Q: Preparing for the next level, is there something that you feel that you need to improve on as a player?

A: Definitely just core strength and body strength. Obviously, playing against guys that are a lot bigger and being able to play strong is important. Also, decision making and footwork, again. Guys at the next level are going to be a lot faster, so decision making is key.

Q: What will be the biggest challenge adjusting to the next level? A lot of players say speed of the game, but quarterbacks don't always point to that.

A: It will definitely be an adjustment. It will kind of be a deal where we get to know each other. I don't think it will be a deal such as leading a guy further or stuff like that, but just getting a feel on the field. Timing stuff.

Q: You mention the core being important earlier. The core and hips are an underrated part of throwing the ball. How important are the hips and core?

A: Power comes from the hips, obviously. It's very important to be strong in your abs and the core area. Coach Morris has done a great job staying on me about getting work in on the abs and stuff like that.

Q: What route do you feel like you have to improve on throwing?

A: Sometimes I kind of try and place the deep ball too well. I think I need to work on that a little bit. It's fun to throw, but something I need to work on.

Q: You threw the out route really well today (Wednesday). Is that a favorite route of yours?

A: We ran sprint outs to outs a lot in high school. We had some stuff out of straight drop to outs and sideline patters too. It's a throw I like making because it's a timing throw.

Q: Obviously, you had the labrum tear and surgery last year. What was the recovery like for you and do you feel as though your arm strength is back 100%?

A: I think in terms of lifting and getting actual muscles back to strength, that's going to be a goal of mine this offseason. In terms of throwing the ball, I think I've gotten it back. I think I got it back in the middle of the season. Starting with two-a-days, not missing practice definitely helped my arm strength return.

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