After an electric 2018 season in Pullman that saw him guide the Washington State Cougars to a school record 11 wins, including a victory in the Alamo Bowl, Gardner Minshew II is headed to the professional ranks. The graduate transfer QB is taking his talents and his mustache to the Jacksonville Jaguars after being selected in the 6th round of the NFL Draft.
This might be an incredible landing spot for Minshew, as the quarterback situation is hardly ironclad. The Jaguars signed Nick Foles to replace Blake Bortles, and it’s a mishmash of journeymen and fliers behind Foles — Cody Kessler, Tanner Lee and Alex McGough. Minshew will get a chance to impress.
Minshew transferred to Washington State after spending two seasons with the East Carolina Pirates and subsequently set the world ablaze. Minshew won Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in addition to to his All Pac-12 First Team honor and took home the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. Minshew’s fifth place finish in the Heisman Trophy voting (just a few points out of fourth place) was also the best finish for any WSU player since Ryan Leaf finished third in 1997.
Minshew’s actual stat sheet reads like a Mike Leach coached Air Raid dream. He completed nearly 71 percent of his passes for 4,779 yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions; the best single offensive season numbers wise for any quarterback in Washington State history. Minshew also showed off his legs at times, scampering for four more touchdowns on the season.
But then ... there’s just the dude himself. The mustache. The jorts. The sunglasses during press conferences. Minshew took Washington State fans by storm early on and quickly became a nationwide sensation along with the Cougs, who would be ranked as high as eighth in the CFP rankings during the season and finished tenth in the AP poll, their highest finish since 2003.
All of our best to Gardner in the NFL!