Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew has become a fan favorite since he was thrust into a starting role in Week 1, and the former Washington State star led the Jags to an impressive win over the Titans on Thursday night.
Minshew is proving he might be exactly the type of quarterback the Jaguars need in his rookie year – but just two years ago, Minshew was off the national radar completely at East Carolina, and was on the verge of transferring to Alabama with an eye towards landing a job as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban.
Minshew committed to a graduate transfer to the Crimson Tide in early February, and later told AL.com that while he knew he likely wouldn’t play over Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts, he believed Alabama could help him kick start a career as a coach. After committing, Minshew received a phone call from Washington State head coach Mike Leach that changed everything.
In an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, Leach said that he called Minshew and made a simple offer.
Leach: “About the time we sorted out that we want to recruit him, he’d committed to Alabama. So we figured we’d call him anyway, because we knew we threw it more than Alabama did. So we called him up and said ‘hey, do you want to hold a clipboard at Alabama or do you want to lead the nation in passing?’ And he came to Washington State.”
Rich Eisen: “Is that how you put it?”
Leach: “Oh yeah. I’m not a beat around the bush kind of guy.”
Minshew went on to throw for 4,776 yards in his lone season with Washington State, just 52 yards behind national leader Dwayne Haskins.