Garrett Gilbert gets nod to start the opener

At 9:50 Monday morning when Texas Longhorns coach Mack Brown stepped up to the telephone for the Big 12's first coaches teleconference, he was not ready to put an end to the four-man quarterback race.

He was apparently saving the anticipated news bulletin for his own media conference in Austin a little more than an hour later.

Drumroll please... Garrett Gilbert has been tapped as the starter for Saturday's opener against the Rice Owls. Or, in the words of Brown, Gilbert is the starter. The 6-foot-4 hometown junior, coming off an awful 2010, will get the first crack at leading Texas' re-engineered offense under former Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite.

That decision, although long in coming, was not a surprise to close observers. Case McCoy, the brother of Longhorns QB legend Colt McCoy, has been named the backup.

Redshirt freshman Connor Wood and true freshman David Ash, who had some early momentum, were also in the mix.

Jaxon Shipley The younger brother of former Texas wide receiver Jordan Shipley, Jaxon, will start at one wide receiver spot, and Fozzy Whittaker gets the start at tailback with Blaine Irby at H-back, Brown said.