Alabama Team News

An insurance policy? Alabama reportedly adds grad transfer QB Gardner Minshew

Gardner Minshew

Alabama has added experience at quarterback with the news that Gardner Minshew will be a grad transfer for the Tide this season.

Minshew, who is from Brandon, Miss., threw for 2,140 yards and 16 TDs for East Carolina last season.

Ever since Tua Tagovailoa’s star-making turn off the bench in the Tide’s national-title win over Georgia, speculation has been rampant that Jalen Hurts – who is 26-2 in two seasons as the starter for Alabama – will transfer. Minshew’s addition would give the Tide a veteran presence at quarterback.

Minshew (6 feet 2, 216 pounds), who transferred to ECU after one season at Northwest Mississippi CC, is not a threat to beat out Tagovailoa or Hurts. But he would be a solid backup, and would give the Tide some experience as the No. 2 guy. The other candidate is redshirt freshman Mac Jones.

Minshew had a stellar high school career at powerhouse Brandon (Miss.) High, where he led his team to a 2012 state championship appearance. Minshew threw for almost 10,000 yards and 88 touchdowns at Brandon, including 3,541 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior.

Minshew signed with Troy as part of the 2015 recruiting class; he went through spring practice with the Trojans, then left Troy and enrolled at Northwest Mississippi CC. He threw for 3,288 yards and 28 touchdowns and completed 61 percent of his passes in his one season there. He was second in the nation in passing yards and fifth in TD passes in his one season at Northwest, which won the NJCAA national title when he threw for 421 yards and five TDs in a 66-13 national-title win over previously unbeaten Rochester (Minn.) Community and Technical College.

Minshew then spent two years at East Carolina, where he threw for 3,487 yards, 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Minshew started five games last season and seven in his two-season Pirates career.

Minshew, who is a traditional pocket passer, brings an understanding of the game to Tuscaloosa. Minshew can work the pocket and is a football junkie in the film room.

(You can follow Jake Wimberly on Twitter @Jakewim)

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