Mack Brown: No talk of QB, or depth chart

A report surfaced late Sunday night that Texas' Garrett Gilbert had been privately notified that he was the Longhorns' starting quarterback.

To keep other quarterbacks working hard, Mack Brown and offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin made no public announcement, the report said.

But in response to the report, Brown issued a strong denial, re-emphasizing that every position at Texas was still fluid.

"As we've said throughout the spring and many times since, we have not talked with the kids about a depth chart and that includes our quarterback position," Brown told ESPN. "All of our guys are well aware of that and are working hard to get better. We're really excited about the potential we have at quarterback and are impressed with how the guys have embraced the competition. We're looking forward to seeing the progress all four of our quarterbacks make when we report for camp in August."

The Longhorns coach didn't leave much wiggle room there, but he can't do anything to shield himself from skepticism in this case.

Confirming that report would have defeated the whole purpose of telling Gilbert anyway, and deception, however minor, doesn't look good on any coach. That's something other coaches could certainly cite on the recruiting trail.

No Longhorn coach tipped his hand on the quarterback race publicly this spring, and although Case McCoy outperformed Gilbert in the spring game, it was still a small -- albeit public -- sample of a spring-long race to start in 2011.

My opinion: I'll take Brown at his word for now.

As for the anonymous source, it's entirely possible that there's been strong innuendo within the facilities that stopped short of a real announcement to the players and leaked to the media.

Most public comments this spring were non-committal, and I left the Longhorns spring game with a real feeling that for now, Texas' coaches had no idea what they wanted to do at quarterback. If Gilbert was, in fact, leading the race at that point, the spring game performances from McCoy and Gilbert had to shake it up.

Neither looked particularly confident, but McCoy was able to keep his offense on the field and far outperformed Gilbert, who drew groans from the crowd on an ugly interception early in the scrimmage.

Whether Gilbert was leading or not, it couldn't have been a big gap. The competition will resume in the fall, and alongside Connor Wood and David Ash, the Longhorns will have four quarterbacks gunning for the spot.