Former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert said being booed out of Royal-Memorial Stadium in 2011 was a sign that he needed to transfer, according to a NFL.com story recounting his rise and fall with the Longhorns.
The Lake Travis product was considered a blue-chip recruit, and he almost rode to the rescue once Colt McCoy got hurt on the fifth play of the 2009 national championship game.
But Gilbert threw 10 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 2010 and was harshly criticized for the team’s 5-7 record. After begin booed and benched in the second game of his junior season, Gilbert said it was time to leave. He transferred to SMU.
A player who is now widely considered one of the biggest recruiting busts in Mack Brown’s 16-year tenure hopes to be a mid-round NFL draft pick later this week.
“Hearing boos again, not really being able to shake that, at that point I kind of knew it might be time to start over and wipe the slate clean,” Gilbert said, according to NFL.com. “It’s tough to sum up quickly. For whatever reason, things didn’t work out. I think that led to some forcing the ball, trying to force things to happen. Maybe I read the papers a little too much, as well.”
Writer Judy Battista uncovers the fact that Gilbert’s parents cancelled their subscription to the American-Statesman after the coverage got too negative. Gale Gilbert, his father, said at one point he even stopped giving his son football advice.
“It would have been really hard for him to get (back) into good graces at Texas,” Gale said in the piece. “When he moved on, there was a big sense of relief.”
SMU coach June Jones, who knew the Gilbert family, said Garrett “had to get through some demons.”
“What I noticed is, he’s a very conscientious kid,” SMU coach June Jones said. “He wants to do everything right. He had a negative experience, getting booed off the field when you’re (19) years old by the whole stadium; I noticed he was trying to do everybody absolutely correctly, not just letting it happen.
“What I have always known, quarterbacks have been able to play at a high level for me basically because I believe in positive reinforcement,” Jones added. “Quarterbacks really excel with that type of encouragement.”
Gilbert said: “I felt, this is great, but at the same time, there was still a little — not necessarily doubt — maybe a couple of question marks. In the back of my mind, it took a little bit. Once I got on the field, this is just football.”
You can read the whole story here on NFL.com.
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