May 10, 2014
NEW YORK (SMU) - SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert has been chosen by the St. Louis Rams in the 2014 NFL Draft. He was taken with 38th pick of the sixth round and 214th overall. Gilbert is the second Mustang taken in the 2014 NFL Draft, joining cornerback Kenneth Acker, who was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 4th pick of the sixth round (180th overall). This marks the second time in three seasons that SMU has had multiple players selected in the NFL Draft.
Gilbert is the 10th Mustang to be drafted in last six years, joining Acker (2014), Cincinnati Bengal Margus Hunt (2013), Washington Redskins Aldrick Robinson (2011), Josh LeRibeus (2012) and Richard Crawford (2012), Tennessee Titan Taylor Thompson (2012), Pittsburgh Steeler Kelvin Beachum (2012), Denver Bronco Emmanuel Sanders (2010 - Selected by Pittsburgh) and New Orleans Saint Thomas Morstead (2009).
Gilbert, the 2008 Gatorade National Player of the Year, enrolled at Texas in 2009 and was thrust into the BCS Championship Game against No. 1 Alabama, replacing injured Colt McCoy after five plays. Gilbert threw TD passes of 44 and 28 yards to position the Longhorns for a comeback victory.
Gilbert then started every game in 2010, passing for 2,744 yards and 10 touchdowns. Two games into the 2011 season, Gilbert suffered a season-ending shoulder injury (torn labrum) and was granted a medical redshirt. He then decided to transfer to the Hilltop.
In 2012, Gilbert threw for four TDs in SMU's win over Houston, and, in SMU's must-win regular season finale against C-USA Champion Tulsa, Gilbert ran for 111 yards, becoming the first SMU QB to run for 100 yards since 2007. He then led SMU to a Hawaii Bowl championship, passing for 212 yards and a TD and rushing for another 98 yards and score.
The 2013 season started well for Gilbert and the SMU offense. Gilbert completed 35+ passes in each of SMU's first three games, becoming the only FBS player in the BCS era to complete at least 35 passes in each of his team's first three games. Against Rutgers, Gilbert set five single-game school records. He completed 45 of 70 passes for 484 yards and five touchdowns and added a pair of rushing touchdowns as SMU erased a 35-14 fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime. Gilbert threw three TD passes and a tying two-point conversion in the fourth quarter and ran for two touchdowns in the overtime periods. He finished with school records in attempts, completions, passing yards, total offense and TDs responsible for, earning American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for his play. In the win at Memphis, Gilbert completed 27 of 43 passes for 321 yards and two TDs and rushed for 49 yards, earning AAC Honor Roll accolades.
Against Temple, Gilbert set a new SMU single-game record with 538 passing yards and accounted for six TDs, as the Mustangs rallied from 21 points down to defeat Temple, 59-49. Gilbert completed 37-of-53 passes and connected for four touchdowns. He also rushed for 97 yards and two additional touchdowns. His school-record 635 yards of total offense were the seventh-most in a game in NCAA history. Led by Gilbert, SMU also set a school record with 728 yards of total team offense.
For his performance, Gilbert was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week, the NCAA.com National Offensive Player of the Week, the ESPN Five-Star Player of the Week, CBSSports.com National Offensive Player of the Week, The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week and the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
Gilbert completed 38 of 47 passes for 403 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another TD in the loss at Cincinnati, again earning American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors. It was the third 400-yard game of the season for Gilbert.
Against UConn, Gilbert was 33-of-52 for 353 yards passing with 4 touchdowns. It was his eighth 300-yard game of the season and fifth-straight, breaking the SMU records for both. It was also his sixth straight multi-TD game. For his play, he was tabbed to the AAC Honor Roll.
Gilbert suffered a knee injury during the first half at USF and missed the remainder of the season. Gilbert was 19-23 for 138 yards passing when he left the game, but his season averages did suffer as he missed the entire second half. Despite the injury, Gilbert still finished second nationally in total offense per game at 379.5 YPG, trailing only Derek Carr of Fresno State, and fourth nationally in passing yards at 352.8 YPG. His total offense average of 379.5 yards per game was better than 42 FBS teams.
Over the last five games before his injury, Gilbert averaged 459 yards of total offense and 420 passing yards, with 17 TDs and only one interception, and was named American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week three times.