As a senior, he passed for 55 TDs and a Texas state record 4851 yards, with a paltry six interceptions. He also added 113 rushing attempts for 774 yards and 23 more scores. For his efforts, Gilbert was named the 2008-09 Gatorade Football Player of the Year as well as Parade All-American after his senior season.
While the external expectations are high for the gifted signal caller who is the son of a former NFL quarterback, Gilbert is taking a different approach to his freshman season.
"I'm just trying to get myself prepared to run the offense as best I can. I want to get a grip on it so I am ready to go in the fall. If I get redshirted, I get redshirted," Gilbert told Burnt Orange Beat on Thursday.
Most observers of the Longhorn program realize that it is unlikely that Gilbert will redshirt. The Texas franchise is in the very capable hands of Heisman runner-up Colt McCoy for the 2009 season, but it is the depth behind McCoy that makes most think Gilbert will be thrown to the fire. With last year's #2 quarterback John Chiles' move to wide receiver in the spring, the back-up spot is up for grabs as junior-to-be Sherrod Harris is rehabbing a minor knee injury. Harris and Gilbert will be the only scholarship quarterbacks behind McCoy next season.
For Gilbert, his preference is to do whatever it takes to help the team.
"I want to learn the offense the best I can. If I am redshirting, I will run the scout team to the best of my ability. If not, I will do whatever they ask me to do," Gilbert explained.
As far as a preference as to the scout team (redshirt) or the back-up role, Gilbert responds, "whatever is best."
Clearly, Gilbert is preparing to play this season. Despite finishing his high school coursework this spring, he still made it to virtually every team meeting in the spring, and he was a fixture at the practices.
And like most gym rats, he was also at the Lake Travis spring practices this week cheering on his former teammates as they prepare to defend the back-to-back 4A state titles that he helped secure. He was also there to cheer on his younger brother, Griffin, who is a sophomore wide out for the Cavaliers.
Gilbert says that he is ready to report as soon as his graduates (June 4), and is in the process of figuring out his living situation.
"I'm not 100% sure (on a roommate), but I think it will be Garrett Porter," said Gilbert.
Whatever it takes, but Gilbert's college career will start in early June.