BRANDON, Miss. (WLBT) - From the humble sports fields at Brandon High School to the NFL stadiums with thousands of cheering fans, Gardner Minshew’s attitude toward the game he loves has remained the same: winning is a team effort.
Just seven months after getting drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, uncertain if he would see any playing time, the 23-year-old has now eclipsed former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles as the starting quarterback for the team.
His father Flint, who owns fitness centers in Rankin County, says getting to the NFL has been a series of steps for the young athlete.
“Four years ago almost to the day, he was lying at the house on Christmas break after winning a national championship in Junior College, with no division one offers. Really everything’s a process,” Flint says.
That process eventually took Minshew to Division 1 Pac-12 Washington State, where he became a cultural figure with his good luck Minshew mustache and off-the-field charisma.
But his skill has led him to where he is today. The Jaguars have been winning and losing in 2019 (as of December 24, the Jags are 5-10 with one more game to play), but even during losses, Minshew impresses. For example, on December 15 against Oakland, he dazzled by leading a second half comeback, completing 14 of 18 passes and two touchdowns in the final three possessions.
“He does very good at controlling what he can control, and being prepared. That’s what I’m always proud of, is they work and prepare,” Flint tells us.
Not every good college player can thrive in the NFL. But Minshew seems to be doing that, on fields where everyone is big and everyone is fast.
“He says the biggest thing is the complexity, and what makes a game too fast for you is if you don’t study and know your stuff,” Flint says. “People always think, you’re a quarterback’s dad, you want him to throw for 400 yards, and I’d really rather him rush for 200 yards, throw for 200 and win the ballgame.”