The Legend of Gardner Minshew


Braden Tyer, Sports

        Gardner Minshew was selected in the sixth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2019 NFL Draft in April. Before he was drafted, Minshew had one of the more unique college careers you’ll ever hear about. Minshew was a walk-on at Troy University, and after one season he transferred to Northwest Mississippi Community College. Minshew won the starting job within a week after he transferred, and took the team to a National Community College Championship.

        After winning a title at Northwest Mississippi, Minshew transferred again to East Carolina University. Minshew was projected to be the team’s third-string quarterback, but because of injuries, Minshew found himself playing in several games that season.  Minshew expected to red-shirt for a season but was forced to lose a year of eligibility because he appeared in multiple games that season. So, Minshew came up with an idea to break his hand to get a medical red-shirt. Minshew said he got a bottle of whiskey and a hammer and began hitting his hand multiple times to attempt to break it. He finally gave up because he couldn’t break his hand. His hand remained swollen for several days and told coaches that he slammed it in a car door on accident. Minshew was asked about the attempt to break his hand by a reporter and Minshew said “I always tell people, ‘What would you do to play more ball?’ And that’s near anything,” 

        Minshew ended up throwing for 2,140 yards and 16 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 10 games with East Carolina. After his Junior season Minshew transferred again, but with a different idea in mind: coaching. Minshew was going to learn to coach under Nick Saban at the University of Alabama. Minshew didn’t really have a chance at being a starting quarterback at Alabama. Saban even said that he was going to offer Minshew a job after he graduated college. 

       Instead, Washington State head coach Mike Leach called Minshew and asked him, “Do you want to lead the country in passing?” Instead, Minshew accepted the offer and chose to play under Leach’s air raid caliber offense. However, Minshew didn’t lead the country in passing, but he finished second only behind Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State. Minshew threw for 4,779 yards, 38 touchdowns, and only 9 interceptions, and also led the team to victory at the Alamo Bowl against Iowa State.  

        Minshew entered the NFL Draft and was selected with the 178th pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Minshew played exceptionally well in the preseason and won the backup job. The Jaguars signed veteran quarterback Nick Foles to a four year deal in the offseason worth 88 million. However, Foles suffered a broken collarbone week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Minshew was next in line for the Jaguars at quarterback. Minshew came in and completed 22/25 passes and throwing for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns with an interception. In the four games Minshew has played this season he’s passed for 905 yards to go along with 7 touchdowns and 1 interception. Minshew is on pace to break the record for the most passing touchdowns in a season, which was set by Baker Mayfield last year who threw for 27 touchdowns. If Minshew continues to play this well, there’s definitely hope that the Jaguars could make a run for the playoffs this season.