In August, Gardner Minshew was battling for a starting job at Washington State. In November, he’s being mentioned in the same breath as some of the nation’s top quarterbacks.
Minshew, the fifth-year graduate transfer who came to Pullman in May from East Carolina, was recognized as one of 16 semifinalists for the 2018 Davey O’Brien Award, given annually to the best quarterback in college football.
The Davey O’Brien Foundation will select three semifinalist on Nov. 19 and will announce a winner on Dec. 6 at The Home Depot College Football Awards.
Minshew is one of two Pac-12 quarterbacks on the list, along with Oregon junior Justin Herbert, and becomes the second WSU quarterback to be named a semifinalist in as many years after Luke Falk made the cut in 2017.
The other 14 semifinalists are Ian Book of Notre Dame, Mason Fine of North Texas, Ryan Finley of NC State, Jake Fromm of Georgia, Will Grier of West Virginia, Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, D’Eriq King of Houston, Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, Jordan Love of Utah State, Marcus McMaryion of Fresno State, McKenzie Milton of UCF, Kyler Murray of Oklahoma, Shea Patterson of Michigan and Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama.
Behind Minshew, the 10th-ranked Cougars have won their last five games and enter the 11th week of the college football season at No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings and with an overall record of 8-1. They’re the only one-loss team in the Pac-12 with a 5-1 mark.
Minshew is the nation’s leading passer with 3,517 yards on the season and an average of 390.8 yards per game. The Brandon, Mississippi, native has thrown 27 touchdowns this year – tops in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation – and is the only player in the country with five games of 400-plus passing yards.
In addition to the Davey O’Brien honor, Minshew has been named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award, given to the top player in college football, and was named to the Top-15 for the Johny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
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