When looking through Alabama’s depth chart, there aren’t many spots where one might think the Crimson Tide could need a graduate transfer.
However, you really wouldn’t think that Nick Saban would be looking for another quarterback, considering who the Tide have at that position. And yet, according to Matt Zenitz of AL.com, Alabama is actively pursuing East Carolina graduate transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew:
Alabama is pursuing East Carolina grad transfer QB Gardner Minshew, per sources. He’s expected to visit Alabama at some point soon. Threw for 1,486 yards and 10 touchdowns over ECU’s final four games last year https://t.co/9aVcAUw85S
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) February 11, 2018
From the outside looking in, Alabama is absolutely loaded at the quarterback position with national championship game hero Tua Tagovailoa and former All-SEC Jalen Hurts at the top of the depth chart. So, more likely than not, the team’s pursuit of Minshew is more for depth purposes than anything else.
Still, it’s an interesting development for a team that’s seemingly set at the most important position on the football field. Minshew, who is from Brandon, Miss. — about 2.5 hours from Tuscaloosa — only has one year of eligibility remaining.
Minshew left the East Carolina program in late January due to ‘personal reasons,’ according to a report by the Clarion-Ledger. The report stated that Minshew left to ‘to deal with a family matter back home.’ ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery stated at the time that the ‘door will certainly remain open’ for Minshew to return to the team, should he want to.
At the time of his departure, Minshew was in line to be the Pirates starting quarterback in 2018. Minshew started five games for ECU in 2017 — including the team’s final four games — throwing for 2140 yards, 16 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. ECU went just 3-9 in 2017.
According to Zenitz’s report, Minshew is expected to visit Tuscaloosa sometime in the near future. Should that visit come to fruition, it would not be a surprise to Zenitz enrolling at Alabama shortly thereafter. Coming from ECU’s air raid offense may pose a bit of an adjustment for the senior, but again, it is unlikely that he’ll be counted on for much playing time, meaning that he should be able to learn the Tide’s offense at his own pace.