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Washington State QB Gardner Minshew selected as one of seven finalists for Lombardi Award

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 17, 2019, 7:01 p.m.

Washington State  quarterback Gardner Minshew  reacts after running back Max Borghi’s  touchdown run during the second half of the Alamo Bowl on  Dec. 28 in San Antonio. WSU defeated Iowa State 28-26. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew reacts after running back Max Borghi’s touchdown run during the second half of the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28 in San Antonio. WSU defeated Iowa State 28-26. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Awards season may not be over for Washington State’s Gardner Minshew.

Minshew, the graduate transfer quarterback who led the Cougars to their first 11-win season in program history, was named one of seven finalists for the 2018 Lombardi Award, the Lombardi Honors announced recently.

The award recognizes NCAA Division I football players who exhibit “performance and leadership honed by character and resiliency.” The Lombardi Award will be presented Jan. 25 in Houston.

The six other finalists are Oregon safety Ugo Amadi, Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, Kansas State offensive tackle Dalton Risner, Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.

Minshew, the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, was also a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, the Davey O’Brien Award and the Manning Award. He was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year after guiding the Cougars to a 10-win regular season and leading the country in passing yards per game (367.6).

Behind Minshew, the Alamo Bowl’s Offensive Most Valuable Player, WSU beat Iowa State 28-26 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, grabbing a program-record 11th win. Minshew threw for 299 yards, completing 35 of 49 passes against the Cyclones to set a Pac-12 single-season record for passing yards (4,779).

The Brandon, Mississippi, native also led the nation in 300-yard games (11), 400-yard games (six) and was second in both total passing yards (4,779) and total offense (376.8). Minshew’s 38 touchdown passes ranked fourth nationally.

Minshew, who came to WSU after stints at Troy, Northwest Mississippi Community College and East Carolina, broke a variety of other records in his stop on the Palouse. Those included the Pac-12 single-season completions record (468) and the WSU single-season record for total offense (4,898 yards). Minshew tied the school mark for single-season TD passes with 38.

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