JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Gardner Minshew, also knows as the “Mississippi Mustache,” is a quarterback who’s dominating at Washington State. He’s the nation’s leading passer, the Pac 12 Offensive Player of the Year and the winner of the Johnny Unitas Award.
But Minshew’s path to stardom wasn’t a straight shot by any means.
Long before Washington State called, Minshew bounced around trying to find the right fit for his talents. Following a stellar career at Brandon High School, he didn’t have any offers. He finally got on at Troy University by way of an academic scholarship, then he made stops at Northwest Mississippi Community College and East Carolina University.
Something you might notice that’s missing for this equation… No in-state offers on the table.
“They passed on him out of high school, passed on him out of junior college and passed on him out of East Carolina,” said Garnder’s father, Flint. “It all worked out pretty good going out of state.”
What seemed to work for Gardner the most at Washington State was the type of offense Mike Leach runs.
“I went and got some air raid stuff when I coached him pee-wee ball, so he’s been running some aspects of air raid pretty much since the 7th grade,” Flint said.
Gardner and the Cougars face Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl next Friday night. Rogers said Gardner is excited about the challenge that’s ahead as the Cyclones are very talented defensively.