Gardner Minshew: The Dark Horse


With the 178th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select Gardner Minshew II from Washington State. Out of all the talent shown from the quarterback position in this year’s draft, Minshew was an unlikely candidate to be starting as a rookie. Nine other quarterbacks were drafted before Minshew, three of them drafted within the first round. At this moment, no team thought that he would be a starter.

Minshew grew up in Brandon, Mississippi. Brandon High School has had and still does produce a solid team, ranking within the top ten in the state of Mississippi. Minshew got his first real shot at playing during the team’s 2012 season when he was named the team’s starter. That year he helped lead his team to the 6A Mississippi Championship Game, where the team would lose 23-31. He was then ranked as a three-star recruit and the 70th best quarterback in his class by 24/ Minshew decided to commit to the University of Troy, but after a semester at the school, he transferred to Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Minshew was named the starter for the football team in 2015 and lead the team to the NJCAA National Football Championship. While at Northwest Mississippi Community College, Minshew would pass for 3,228 yards with about sixty percent passing rating.

The following year Minshew decided to transfer again, this time going to play at East Carolina University. While at East Carolina he would only start for two of seven games. However, toward the end of the season, he would throw for over 350 yards in three straight games. His final stats on the year were just 2,140 yards and 16 touchdowns, he also received his bachelor’s degree from the university.

He later on in 2018 decided to enroll as a graduate student at Washington State. While at Washington State, Minshew would have led the FBS in pass completions, pass attempts, and passing yards per game. He also leads school to a school record-breaking eleven win season and gained the school’s record for a completion rating in a game, after finishing up with a 78.9% in a team win over Eastern Washington. The team would later go on to win the Alamo Bowl game against Iowa State, and Minshew would break Jarred Goff’s single-season passing yards record. Some of the accolades that he would receive from that year would be the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, and finished fifth in the Heisman voting.

Then after Minshew’s time was over for him in college he decided to apply for a spot in the NFL. The Jacksonville Jaguars would end up drafting him in the sixth round with their 178th pick. He would compete for his way through practice and overall got himself a spot on the 53 man roster. Then in Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season disaster struck the Jaguars as their starting quarterback Nick Foles went down with a broken clavicle. So the team decided to put Minshew in. He had a very good performance throwing for two touchdowns and 275 yards. The next week the team upped the ante after trading for the Steelers backup quarterback Josh Dobbs would compete for the starting spot. But the Jaguars felt safe with Minshew and kept him as the starter for the next week.

After seeing this, it should be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes for the Jaguars, whether or not they will keep Minshew as the team’s starter or not, but it is for sure that Minshew is a clear fan favorite for Jacksonville fans.