Hello, denial, my old friend.
As you probably recall, Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman stated Sunday night that an anonymous source told him that Mack Brown had tabbed junior-to-be Garrett Gilbert as the starting quarterback for the upcoming season.
Turns out, that’s not true at all — at least not according to Brown.
“As we’ve said throughout the spring and many times since, we have not talked with the kids about a depth chart and that includes our quarterback position,” Brown told ESPN (the statement was seen on “College Football Live” yesterday evening). “All of our guys are well aware of that and are working hard to get better. We’re really excited about the potential we have at quarterback and are impressed with how the guys have embraced the competition. We’re looking forward to seeing the progress all four of our quarterbacks make when we report for camp in August.”
I don’t know what Brown has told — or, hasn’t told — Gilbert, but I hope for his sake, Brown was honest with him.
Some situations merit naming a starting quarterback before summer break (i.e. Washington and Keith Price) because there is some separation in the group and it gives the starter some confidence before fall camp.
But judging by Gilbert’s performance during the Horns’ spring game, tabbing him the starter would have been premature; there just wasn’t any significant visible separation by Gilbert over Case McCoy or Conner Wood.
And after a 5-7 season that saw so much coaching turnover and promises of positive change for next year, it would be wrong for the Longhorns to settle on Gilbert simply because he’s the incumbent.
Not if he doesn’t give them the best chance to win.