Jacksonville Jaguars don’t hold your breath, as Nick Foles has been knocked out of his inaugural game with the team due to a shoulder injury.
With Foles on the mend, the Jaguars will rely on the 6th round draft pick Gardner Minshew to get them through week one’s tilt, and possibly longer.
Here are five quick facts you need to know about the Jaguars’ young gunslinger.
Started Collegiate Career at East Carolina
While Minshew earned his collegiate stardom as a member of the Washington State football team, he actually kicked off his career at East Carolina. There was very little to get excited about as a fan of ECU during Minshew’s time at the school. During Minshew’s two seasons, the team amassed a combined win total of just six. During that span, Minshew looked more like a below-average collegiate QB than a signal-caller with an NFL future.
Then Minshew graduated from ECU, earning eligibility as a graduate transfer, and his career trajectory took a major shift.
Chose Wazzu Over Bama
Minshew actually committed to join Alabama as a grad transfer last February and was in line to serve as a backup to Heisman hopeful Tua Tagovailoa. Minshew, who had limited playing aspirations after college, dreamed of being a coach after his playing days, and which better coach to learn the ropes from than Nick Saban himself. Minshew was quoted stating “I have so much respect for that staff. I do want to get into coaching eventually, and it’s like going to Harvard school for coaching.”
However, Minshew still had the itch to play football. Minshew would opt for a starting gig at Washington State over an apprenticeship at Alabama. Something that was extremely “tough to turn down” for the signal-caller, but that changed his life forever.
Tore up the American Athletic Conference
Minshew’s time at Washington State will go down in the school’s history books. Minshew was inserted into Mike Leach’s high flying offense and took it to heights we’ve never seen before.
Under Minshew’s guidance, the Cougars would go on to register 11 victories in 2018, the most in school history. During Minshew’s storied season he would lead the NCAA in nearly every passing category. Minshew topped the leader boards of the FBS in pass completions (433), pass attempts (613), and passing ypg (367.6). Minshew also finished second in passing yards (4,477) and finished in the top five at his position in touchdown passes with 38.
For all of Minshew’s lofty accomplishments, he would be rewarded as the Pac 12 offensive player of the year, as well the Johnny Unites Golden Arm Award, which is handed out to the top senior/4th year QB in the nation.
Selected by Jaguars in Round No. 6 of 2019 NFL Draft
For all of Minshew’s collegiate success, he dropped in drafts due to his lack of size and questionable arm strength.
The Jacksonville Jaguars would eventually pull the trigger on the gritty gunslinger in the 6th round of the 2019 draft.
Minshew would go on to beat out a plethora of other signal-callers during the offseason, eventually entrenching himself as the team’s backup quarterback to Nick Foles.
He Rocks a Mean Mustache
What’s there to say, the guy knows style. Minshew’s intriguing fashion choices took Washington State by storm during his lone season at the school. Minshew’s mustache and headband combo made the quarterback a cult hero at the school. Even Minshew’s former head coach Mike Leach got in on the fun, kind of.
Minshew’s iconic style will carry on through the WAZZU classroom halls and football stadium long after his NFL playing career is over.
Minshew has drawn comparisons to a few movie icons thanks to his impeccable facial hair.
Here’s another one for your viewing pleasures.
Let’s hope for all our sakes Minshew takes the league by storm and his bush caterpillar can live on through Duval fandom. Jacksonville has been in search of a likable character to help lead them out of the gutters of NFL irrelevance for decades now.
Gardner Minshew may not be the hero Jacksonville deserves, but he’s the one it needs right now.
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