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Texas Football 2011 Preseason Position by Position: Quarterback

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We attempted a coronation in the Spring game and Gilbert dropped the scepter.

Conventional wisdom tells us that after Gilbert...

McCoy is too weak.

Wood is too inaccurate.

Ash is too true freshman.

Next stop: John Paul Floyd!

OK, maybe not quite. Let's break down the position that hasn't inspired this much confidence since the heady days of Mark Murdock, Shannon Kelley, and Donovan Forbes.

Garrett Gilbert
Case McCoy
Connor Wood
David Ash

Junior Garrett Gilbert had the worst year for a Longhorn QB since 1991 when Peter Gardere threw 5 TDs, 13 ints and our offense averaged 17 points a game. That Longhorn defense also finished in the Top 10 in the nation and we went 5-6. Sound familiar?

For his career, Gilbert has 12 TDs paired with 21 INTs and that's like dating a girl whose measurements are 24-36-24. His career Yards Per Attempt are similarly brutal. You get the picture - I don't need to beat you down. Gilbert has given us a lot of bad QBing, but that's to be expected when you're surrounded by low level skill athletes, playing behind a poorly developed OL, running Mickey Mouse schemes.

Gilbert looks the part (6-3 220) and last year he took a great deal of punishment - physical and mental - without complaining. I don't believe that any UT QB in history has carried the load that he had as a % of total offense and that's both an indictment and a source of awe. He also exhibited niftier running skills than anticipated and this was one of the few bright spots in Greg D's gridiron aneurysm. Gilbert was game throughout the year, but he was essentially broken as a QB when we threw him 59 times against KSU and 15 of those passes hit off of Wildcat protective equipment in addition to the 5 they caught. Before that, the offense was broken. After that, Garrett Gilbert and the offense were broken. The Spring game didn't do much to alter that perception.

To date, Gilbert has proven to be a one read system QB with minimal field awareness, excellent toughness, solid physical skills, an inconsistent release, and a good attitude - though not exactly bursting with leadership. I said last year that he gives me a strong Jonathan Crompton vibe and I've seen nothing to dissuade that opinion. Mind you, Crompton also got serviceable near the end of his Vol career, so there is that. Yea.

Case McCoy is the current internet hero of Longhorn netdom and anyone else who has ever been hung on a locker hook not only because he's the #2 QB at Texas - a position generally more popular than missionary - but also because he's the brother of Colt and this allows various hoopleheads to opine, "Watch out, he's got them McCoy bloodlines and demz winners!" and "Kings of Leon are an excellent band!"

Brothers comprise a wide genetic array. Ask Tom Brady's brother Oswaldo. He just valeted my car and he was cut from his high school JV.

OK, I made that up.

Case is listed optimistically at 6-2, 200 and unless he has been in Mama's biscuits and Mad Dog's HGH, I find that hard to believe. The last time I saw Case was at the Fiesta Bowl and he had the wrists of an Olsen twin and the bone structure of a pelican. Case does legitimately have QBing skills and know-how, he throws an accurate short ball, he's got live feet, he knows where to go with the rock, and his Spring game certainly impressed the hoopleheads. I came away with a different impression. He also throws any ball downfield like your daughter in the backyard, I doubt he can stand up to a 12 game schedule, and he hasn't played a down of college football.

Initiate questionable Kellen Moore comparisons....NOW.

Connor Wood looks the part (6-4, 220), but the Spring game seemed more or less designed to marginalize his chances and he's said to struggle with accuracy. Effective QBs come in a lot of shapes and sizes, but if you don't have reliable accuracy, it's tough to make it work in a pro style offense. I think Connor has the potential to play here if he'll stick around and develop (his accuracy issues may be more mechanical than innate), and anyone who thinks the #1 QB coming out of summer drills has a season lock on the starting job is delusional. However, that doesn't seem to be the way the game is played anymore - QBs tend to hit the Classified Ads when things don't go their way early on. I'd stick around and play this one out, frankly.

In any other year, David Ash would quietly redshirt while insiders whisper about his ability and predict big things in 2013, but the uncertainty at the top has Texas fans wondering if we shouldn't just start the guy who offers the brightest future right now. A player unsullied by the Davis offense that HarsinWhite can feed like an eaglet. Of course, you may also deeply traumatize him since he he'll be facing OU instead of Waco Midway. Ash throws a great ball, he's big (6-3, 220), and he's a very effective runner. He's also a devout Christian and you'll recall what our last QB could do when he employed the white magicks of Jesus. I just don't see us allowing him to win the job and I'd expect to see a redshirt unless we see injury or one or two guys take their ball and go home if they're not named the starter.

Summary

We're in a tough spot at QB, but better coaching, a better supporting cast, and better schemes will help whoever has the reins. I can't overstate how deeply retarded our offense was last year and how it set up the QB to fail, but that also doesn't mean we didn't see plenty from an individual standpoint to worry about. Make it a truly wide open competition, cut it two candidates by mid-camp, and then let them duke it out to see who gets the gig.