Coming out of spring practice early last month, Texas deferred the naming of a starting quarterback, at least publicly, until some point after the start of summer camp and before the 2011 opener. That was a none-too-surprising development, really, as there had been reports coming from the area that, take your pick, Connor Wood in the middle of the 15 allotted sessions or Case McCoy following the spring game may have the lead over incumbent Garrett Gilbert.
What they didn’t do publicly, however, may have been taken care of privately. Reportedly.
In his always-entertaining and ever-illuminating “Nine things and one crazy prediction”, Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman writes that, behind closed doors, UT’s revamped offensive coaching staff has already settled on a starter heading into the summer. And, for better or worse, it’s a name Longhorn fans are very familiar with.
Junior-to-be quarterback Garrett Gilbert has been chosen as the Texas starter and been told so, one source who regularly talks to the football players told me, but Mack Brown and Bryan Harsin don’t want Connor Wood, Case McCoy and David Ash to stop working as hard as possible, and haven’t made any public announcement on the starting position. I think it’d be smarter to show strength and confidence in Gilbert by announcing he’s the guy, which most all of us expect.
Given Gilbert’s edge in experience over both McCoy and Wood, such a pronouncement — private or otherwise — is not exactly a startling revelation. And it’s certainly merely a temporary decision in the here and now as there’s a lot of time between now and the 2011 opener Sept. 3 against Rice for the other contenders to leapfrog last year’s starter.
However, and regardless of which candidate they ultimately choose or when they do it, the Longhorns desperately need better production from the position than they received from Gilbert last season. As they attempt to rebound from a disastrously miserable 5-7 campaign, a repeat of last year’s 10-touchdown, 17-interception performance on the part of Gilbert will simply not cut it and would be wholly unacceptable twice in a decade, let alone in back-to-back years.