AUSTIN _ Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert, a five-star signee who lost his starting job last month, announced today that he will transfer to another school next season.
Gilbert, a junior who posted a 7-7 record as the Longhorns’ starter and threw more interceptions (23) than touchdown passes (13), has been given an unconditional release from his scholarship by school officials. In a statement, Gilbert said he will remain in school at Texas through the fall semester but will “take some visits while I decide where I’m going to transfer” in the coming weeks.
A website that covers SMU, PonyPride.com, reported that Gilbert attended today’s practice on the SMU campus.
Gilbert (6-foot-4, 218 pounds) lost his starting job after a 2-for-8 passing performance with two interceptions in Texas’ 17-16 victory over Brigham Young on Sept. 10. Gilbert was removed from the game in the second quarter and, on Sept. 20, underwent season-ending shoulder surgery.
Because of his injury, Gilbert is eligible to take this season as a medical redshirt under NCAA rules but would have to sit out next season if he transfers to another FBS school. He could be eligible in 2012 if he selects an FCS school.
In his statement, Gilbert called it “a very difficult decision” to leave Texas but said it was “in my best interest” to switch schools. In 24 games, Gilbert completed 305-of-538 passes for 3,301 yards (ninth on Texas’ career list).
Gilbert’s departure leaves the 11th-ranked Longhorns (4-0, 1-0 in Big 12) with only two quarterbacks on scholarship heading into Saturday’s game against No. 3 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0): sophomore Case McCoy, who is 2-0 as a starter in Texas’ last two games, and freshman David Ash, who splits time with McCoy.
Connor Wood, the other member of Texas’ four-quarterback competition for the starting job during fall drills, transferred to Colorado in August.
_ Jimmy Burch