Gardner Minshew source of joy for WSU

Minshew set records in 2018, four years in NFL so far



Cougar legend Gardner Minshew II is placed fourth on all-time quarterbacks list.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

Gardner Minshew only played one season with the Cougs. However, his one season on the Palouse was one of the most memorable in WSU history.

In his year with the Cougs, he led the nation in passing yards per game, second in total passing yards and total offense, finished fourth in touchdown passes, and third in completion percentages.

He also set Pac-12 and WSU single-season records in passing yards and completions. He set WSU’s record for single-season total offense and tied the single-season record for passing touchdowns. He was the only player in the nation with six 400+ passing-yard games and 11 300+ passing-yard games. Minshew’s seven touchdowns against Arizona set a WSU record for passing touchdowns in a single game.

Minshew’s 2018 season at WSU saw him finish in fifth place for the Heisman Trophy, win the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (given out to the nation’s top senior or fourth-year junior QB), and be named a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year and Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s top QB).

In the NFL, Minshew has found moderate success, and four years after college is still on an NFL roster.

Minshew attended Brandon High School in Mississippi. He was a quarterback for his high school Bulldogs for three seasons. The Bulldogs made it to the 6A Mississippi Championship twice while Minshew was there, and won one. His high school performance led him to a three-star recruit rating by

When Minshew graduated from high school he attended Troy University, but quickly transferred to Northwest Mississippi Community College to start his football career, where he led them to the NCAA Football Championship.

After Northwest Mississippi, Minshew transferred to East Carolina where he played two seasons from 2016-17. As a sophomore Minshew appeared in seven games and started in two. He completed 58.9% of his passes and threw for eight touchdowns with four interceptions as a sophomore. In his junior season, Minshew threw for 2,140 passing yards and 16 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He graduated from East Carolina in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in communications.

As a graduate transfer, Minshew enrolled at WSU in 2018 where he had one of the best collegiate careers in WSU history.

Minshew delivered many memorable performances in 2018.

Against the Eastern Washington University Eagles, Minshew was unstoppable. After leading 7-0 from a WSU rushing touchdown Minshew threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to receiver Easop Winston Jr. to extend the lead to 14-0 after one quarter. Minshew’s second touchdown pass came in the fourth quarter as he connected with Davontavean Martin for a 21-yard touchdown. By the fourth quarter, WSU had a 35-24 lead, but a field goal and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter gave the Cougs the 59-24 win.

He completed 45 out of 57 passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns against Eastern Washington earning him Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.

When Minshew played against the Oregon State Beavers he completed 30 of 40 passes for 430 yards and five touchdowns for a QB Rating of 79.9. The Cougs struck first as Minshew and Renard Bell connected for a six-yard touchdown just one minute into the game. The Cougs then scored one minute later on a blocked punt to lead 14-0 after two minutes.

The Beavers scored two late touchdowns to tie the game at 14 heading into the second quarter where the Cougs scored in the opening minutes again from a 38-yard touchdown pass from Minshew to Martin.

WSU was down 24-21 in the second, but with 30 seconds left in the half James Williams scored on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Minshew to take the 28-24 lead into halftime. WSU led 35-30 heading into the fourth where the Cougs scored three straight touchdowns, two receiving and one 30-yard run from Max Borghi giving WSU 56 points and winning 56-37.

When the Oregon Ducks came to town it was the first time ever that ESPN’s College GameDay was on the Palouse, signifying the Oregon-WSU matchup was the most important game of the week. College GameDay is the biggest pregame show for college football. They travel to different colleges each weekend covering the game of the week.

At the time Oregon was ranked No. 12 and WSU was ranked No. 25. The only score of the first quarter was a 24-yard touchdown run from James Williams to give WSU the 7-0 lead after one.

In the second quarter, Minshew threw three touchdown passes to give WSU the 27-0 lead heading into halftime. The third quarter was not a good one for WSU as Oregon Duck quarterback Justin Herbert led the Ducks to cut the lead to 10 heading into the fourth quarter where WSU led 27-17.

After a field goal from the Ducks to cut the lead to seven, Minshew threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Dezmon Patmon with just under four minutes left to extend the Cougs lead to 14, and the game ended with the Cougs winning 34-20 as the fans rushed the field to celebrate with their team.

He threw 430 yards and five touchdowns against the Oregon State Beavers earning him both the Manning Award National Quarterback of the Week and the Rose Bowl Pac-12 Player of the Week.

He threw 323 yards and four touchdowns against the Ducks during the first College GameDay broadcast from Pullman earning him the Maxwell Award Player of the Week and the Rose Bowl Pac-12 Player of the Week.

Minshew also won Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP when he threw for 299 yards and two touchdown passes and rushed for another against Iowa State.

Minshew was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft. He appeared in 14 games for the Jaguars in 2019 and threw for 3271 total yards and had 21 touchdowns with six interceptions.

He only appeared in nine games for the Jaguars in 2020 and had 2259 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. After the Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence first in the 2021 NFL Draft, Minshew was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.

He only appeared in four games last season for the Eagles as he covered for an injured Jalen Hurts. In those four games, Minshew threw for 439 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.

Minshew is currently on the Eagles’ roster, but will not see the field much because Hurts is the starting QB and seems to be positioned for a stellar run. If Minshew wants to be the starting QB or play meaningful games, he may need to find a different team.

Minshew finished his season at WSU as one of the greatest QBs in program history, and will always be remembered for his game — and mustache.