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Garrett Gilbert starts over again at SMU

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Garret Gilbert requested his transfer from Texas last month and it didn't take him long to find a new home. After all, he's only going about 200 miles up the road.

As expected, SMU announced today that Gilbert is transferring to Dallas to play in June Jones' run-and-shoot offense. With three years of eligibility already spent at Texas, he'll have one year of eligibility remaining in 2013 after sitting out next year under NCAA transfer rules. Since his 2011 campaign ended in September with season-ending shoulder surgery, though, he's eligible to apply for a medical hardship waiver that would grant him a sixth year in 2014.

Thus continues a strange career arc that started with a breakout performance against Alabama in the 2009 BCS Championship Game.{YSP:MORE} After starter Colt McCoy left the game on the first series, Gilbert was thrust into his first extended action on the biggest possible stage, made a few plays — good and bad — and improbably kept the game interesting into the fourth quarter. The Longhorns lost, but Gilbert's resilience and blue-chip pedigree reassured UT fans that McCoy's graduation wouldn't be so difficult to stomach in 2010.

That confidence was short-lived as Gilbert, a former five-star recruit from just outside of Austin, struggled mightily last year as a full-time starter, sending Texas tumbling into its first losing season since 1997. Last spring, Gilbert fought to retain his starting job, and kept it for a game and a half, before he was supplanted by Case McCoy and David Ash.

The writing was on the wall for Gilbert's future in his hometown. At least now, he can chalk his demotion up to the shoulder injury and set about reinventing himself in an offense that will allow him to get noticed by a few pro scouts.

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Graham Watson is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham.

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