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Garrett Gilbert

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Garrett Gilbert
refer to caption
Gilbert with the Cleveland Browns in 2019
No. 3 – Cleveland Browns
Personal information
Born: (1991-07-01) July 1, 1991 (age 28)
Buffalo, New York
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Lake Travis (Austin, Texas)
NFL Draft:2014 / Round: 6 / Pick: 214
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
  • Super Bowl champion (XLIX)
  • Mr. Texas Football (2008)
  • Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year (2008)
  • Gatorade Football Player of the Year (2008)
  • USA Today Offensive Player of the Year (2008)
  • USA Today High School All-American (2008)
Career NFL statistics as of 2019
Passing completions:2
Passing attempts:6
Passing yards:40
Passer rating:57.6
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Garrett Antone Gilbert (born July 1, 1991) is an American football quarterback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). Regarded as one of the best high school quarterbacks of his class, he played college football at Texas and SMU and was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He is the son of former NFL quarterback Gale Gilbert.

Gilbert initially saw little playing time as a professional and was primarily assigned to the offseason and practice squads of his teams during his first five seasons in the NFL. He came to prominence as the starting quarterback of the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) in 2019 where he led the league in yards and passer rating and helped his team obtain a league-best 7-1 record and playoff berth. After the AAF suspended operations before the scheduled conclusion of the season, Gilbert signed with the Browns.

High school career

Gilbert made his first high school start during his sophomore year in the 2006 Texas Football Classic, where he led the Cavaliers to a 41–34 victory over Texas City. His performance caused Texas gridiron sportswriters to take notice, including Lone Star Gridiron's Chris Doelle who referred to Gilbert as "the best high school quarterback I have seen EVER." [1]

Gilbert guided Lake Travis to the 2007 Texas UIL Class 4A Division II State Championship. Upon completing the 2007 season, he broke state records for completions (359), pass attempts (555) and yards (4,827).[2]

After Lake Travis won the 2007 championship, the team's head coach, Jeff Dicus, resigned to take the head coaching position at Class 5A Duncanville High School. Chad Morris, then the head coach at Stephenville High School, became the new coach. Prior to his senior season, Gilbert learned Morris' offense.[2]

On top of the coaching change, Gilbert had to undergo minor shoulder surgery, which took five months to recover. He was not able to lift weights during the five-month period, and instead performed rehabilitation exercises. Gilbert recovered in time to play the first game of the 2008 season.[2]

In the 2008 season, Gilbert led Lake Travis to a perfect 16–0 record[3] and its second straight state title. He finished the season with 4,851 passing yards for 55 touchdowns.[4]

Gilbert completed his high school career setting a state record of 12,534[5] passing yards, breaking the previous mark set by Graham Harrell by two-yards. Gilbert initially was indifferent to breaking the record when he had the chance during the 2008 state title game; he only did so after his coach insisted.[6] Gilbert finished second to Harrell for career touchdowns, completions and attempts.[2] He led his Cavaliers to a 39–4 combined record as a starter from his sophomore through senior seasons.[6]

Football events

Gilbert playing for his high school in 2008.

Gilbert participated in ESPN RISE's 10th anniversary Elite 11 quarterback event from July 21–24. He was one of the 11 high school quarterbacks selected out of a pool of more than a thousand. The Elite 11 played against each other and received coaching from current standout college quarterbacks.[7] An ESPN columnist pointed out that Gilbert was the most likely player from the camp to win the college football national championship.[8]

Along with 79 other high school seniors, Gilbert played in the 2009 Under Armour All-America Game on January 4, 2009.[9] In the nationally televised matchup,[10] Gilbert completed 11-of-22 passes for 161 yards and an interception as he guided the Black team in its 27–16 loss to the White team.[11]

In January 2009, a Scouts Inc. reporter predicted that Gilbert would win the Heisman Trophy before his collegiate senior season.[12]

College recruitment

Gilbert verbally committed to play college football for the Texas Longhorns on February 7, 2008, the day after he received the offer in the mail.[13] He always had aspirations to play for Texas since he was a child. During his youth, he pretended to play football for the Longhorns, passing the football to himself in his living room and diving onto the couch to catch it. When he was eight, he had the chance to play catch with then-Texas quarterback Major Applewhite, whom he considered to be his idol growing up. His family members were also season ticket holders.[2]

Gilbert was rated as a five-star prospect by[14] Alongside Matt Barkley of Mater Dei High School in California, Gilbert was the premier quarterback prospect of the class of 2009. Former college head coach Jackie Sherrill called Gilbert the best quarterback he has seen since Dan Marino.[15]

Awards and honors

College career

2009 season

Gilbert drops back for a pass in the BCS National Championship game.

It was at first thought that Gilbert would likely redshirt in 2009 and compete for the starting job in 2010. However, since former backup quarterback John Chiles was moved to wide receiver, Gilbert competed with Sherrod Harris for the backup job during the off-season. On August 23, 2009, Gilbert became the second-string quarterback as a true freshman, in front of the junior Harris.

In the 2009 season opener against Louisiana-Monroe, Gilbert lined up behind center during the fourth quarter and drove the Longhorns down the field, completing four-of-five passes for 46 yards, before scoring a twelve-yard rushing touchdown on a quarterback draw play to end the drive.[27]

On January 7, 2010, in the BCS National Championship Game, Gilbert replaced the injured Colt McCoy. Gilbert completed 15-of-40 passes for 186 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. One analyst took the position that his stat line did not reflect how well he actually played (even though he was responsible for five turnovers – the four interceptions and a lost fumble), and that several of his passes that should have been caught were dropped.[28] Gilbert led the Longhorns to two scoring drives in the second half to spark a comeback, bringing the score to 24–21 Alabama. However, the comeback ultimately fell short late in the game with a turnover inside the Texas five–yard line. The Longhorns lost the game 37–21.[29]

2010 season

Gilbert was the starting quarterback during 2010 season. He led the team to a 5–7 record, Texas' first losing season since 1997.[30] Against Kansas State, he threw for 5 interceptions as the Longhorns lost by a score of 39–14. In that game, Kansas State also only attempted four passes.[31] Soon after that year's bowl season, Mack Brown announced that every job was up for grabs, leaving Gilbert to compete with sophomores Case McCoy and Conner Wood, as well as freshman David Ash.

2011 season

On August 29, it was announced that Gilbert would retain the starting position in the season opener against Rice.[32] However, on September 12, it was announced that he was being demoted to the second-string quarterback behind McCoy and Ash, who would share the starting position. On September 20, it was announced that Gilbert underwent successful surgery on his shoulder and was ruled out the remainder of the season.[33]

Gilbert was granted his unconditional release from Texas on October 5, allowing him the opportunity to seek a transfer.[34] Later that day, he was seen at Southern Methodist University (SMU), watching the football team practice.[35] He completed his degree at Texas and transferred to SMU for the 2012 season.[36]

2012 season

Gilbert won the starting job at SMU, where he ran June Jones's run and shoot offense. He began the season with an inconsistent performance at Baylor, throwing two interceptions in the 59–24 loss.[37]

As the season progressed, Gilbert gained confidence, completing four touchdown passes against Houston en route to a 72–42 win, a game which set the SMU record for points in a game.[38] He had his best game of the season the following week against Memphis, throwing for 353 yards with one passing touchdown and two rushing touchdowns.[39] Overall, he finished the 2012 season with 2,932 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions.[40]

2013 season

Gilbert passed for 3,528 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2013.[41] He missed two games due to injury. He finished his college career with 9,761 yards and 49 touchdowns.[42]


Year Team Games Passing Rushing
G GS Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2009 TEX 10 0 30 66 45.5 310 4.7 2 4 82.8 11 5 0.5 1
2010 TEX 12 12 260 441 59.0 2,744 6.2 10 17 111.0 100 380 3.8 5
2011 TEX 2 2 15 31 48.4 247 8.0 1 2 113.1 7 15 2.1 0
2012 SMU 13 13 268 506 53.0 2,932 5.8 15 15 105.5 94 346 3.7 8
2013 SMU 10 10 335 504 66.5 3,528 7.0 21 7 136.2 83 267 3.2 6
Career 47 37 908 1,548 58.7 9,761 6.3 49 45 116.3 295 1,013 3.4 20


  • UT Record – Attempts, Game (59)
  • UT Record – Total Plays, Game (68)
  • SMU Record – Passing Yards, Game (538)
  • SMU Record – Passing Yards, three consecutive games (1,343)
  • SMU Record – Completions, Game (45)
  • SMU Record – Attempts, Game (70)
  • SMU Record – Total Plays, Game (81)
  • SMU Record – Touchdowns, Game (7)
  • SMU Record – Total Offense, Game (635)
  • SMU Record – Total Offense, Consecutive Games (941)
  • SMU Record – 300 Yard Passing Games, Career (9)
  • SMU Record – 300 Yard Passing Games, Consecutive (5)

Professional career

St. Louis Rams

Gilbert was selected in the sixth round (214th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft, by the St. Louis Rams.[43] He was released during final cuts on August 29, 2014. He was signed to the Rams' practice squad on September 1, 2014. He was cut from the practice squad on October 30, 2014.[44]

New England Patriots

On December 17, 2014, the New England Patriots signed Gilbert to their practice squad.[45] He remained on the practice squad when the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28–24 in Super Bowl XLIX.[46]

On June 11, 2015, the Patriots waived Gilbert.[47]

Detroit Lions

One day after being waived by the Patriots, Gilbert was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions.[48] He was waived on September 1, 2015.[49]

Oakland Raiders

On September 6, 2015, Gilbert was signed to the practice squad of the Oakland Raiders. He was waived on May 24, 2016.[50] On January 2, 2017, he was signed to the Raiders' practice squad after Matt McGloin suffered an injury in the final game of the regular season. Gilbert was to serve as the backup in case McGloin was unable to play in the Wild Card Round. McGloin ended up being active as Connor Cook's backup for the playoff game. Gilbert was released at the end of the season.[51]

Carolina Panthers

After working out with the Dallas Cowboys in January,[52] Gilbert signed with the Carolina Panthers on March 24, 2017.[53] He was waived on September 2, 2017, and was signed to the Panthers' practice squad the next day.[54][55] He was promoted to the active roster, for the first time in his career, on October 16, 2017.[56]

After losing the back-up quarterback job to Taylor Heinicke during training camp he was waived on September 1, 2018.[57]

Gilbert was re-signed by the Panthers on December 26, 2018 after Cam Newton and Heinicke were both shut down for the season.[58] He served as the backup to Kyle Allen in the Panthers last game of the season. He made his NFL debut in relief of the injured Allen. He completed his first career pass to Ian Thomas for 31 yards. He finished the game with 40 yards passing.[59] On December 31, 2018, Gilbert was waived by the Panthers.[60]

Orlando Apollos

On November 27, 2018, Gilbert was drafted by the Orlando Apollos in the Alliance of American Football's quarterback draft.[61] He played for the team during the inaugural 2019 AAF season.[62]

During the inaugural game of the 2019 season against the Atlanta Legends, Gilbert went 15 for 25 for 227 yards, with two passing touchdowns and a receiving score in the 40–6 win. He also threw the first touchdown in both Apollos and Alliance history, with a 26-yard toss to Jalin Marshall.[63]

In week 2 of the 2019 season, Gilbert won Offensive Player of the Week with a 393-yard, two-touchdown performance in the 37–29 win over the San Antonio Commanders, and set an early AAF record for passing yards in a single game.[64]

When the AAF suspended operations after week 8, Gilbert led the league in passing yards (2,152), attempts (259), completions (157), and passer rating (99.1). He was also second in passing touchdowns (13), second-lowest in interceptions (3), lowest in interception percentage (1.2), and second-highest in touchdown percentage (5.0) among all starting quarterbacks.[65]

Cleveland Browns

Gilbert playing against the Washington Redskins in 2019 preseason.

On April 5, 2019, following the AAF's suspension of operations, Gilbert signed with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.[66] He made his debut with the Browns in Week 5, relieving Baker Mayfield in the fourth quarter of a 31-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.[67]

Career statistics

Regular season

Year Team League Games Passing Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD INT Rate Att Yds Avg TD Fum Lost
2018 CAR NFL 1 0 2 3 66.7 40 13.3 0 0 109.7 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019 ORL AAF 8 8 157 259 60.6 2,152 8.3 13 3 99.1 24 79 3.3 1 4 3
2020 CLE NFL 5 0 0 3 0.0 0 0 0 0 39.6 3 -3 -1 0 0 0
NFL Totals 6 0 2 6 33.3 40 6.7 0 0 57.6 3 -3 1 0 0 0
AAF Totals 8 8 157 259 60.6 2,152 8.3 13 3 99.1 24 79 3.3 1 4 3

Sources: [68][69]

Personal life

Gilbert is the son of former NFL quarterback Gale Gilbert.[70]

He was born in Buffalo, New York, where his father played for the Bills in the early 1990s as part of the infamous squad that lost four straight Super Bowls. He moved to San Diego, California, at age three, when Gale signed with the Chargers (who coincidentally played in the Super Bowl that same year, resulting in a record fifth consecutive championship loss for a player). The family later moved to Austin, Texas, in 1996. Garrett has one brother, Griffin, who played football at Texas Christian University.[71]


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External links