Tennessee seems determined to add a grad transfer quarterback one way or another. They’ve been linked to several since Jeremy Pruitt took over as head coach, and now they’re reportedly interested in another fifth-year quarterback.
According to a report from 247Sports, Vol coaches have been in contact and expressed interest in ECU grad transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew. But just like with the grad transfer defensive tackle out of Rice the Vols contacted earlier this week, Tennessee will be competing with one of their rivals to try and land Minshew.
Alabama is also in the mix for Minshew, and he’s set to visit the Tide this weekend according to AL.com. The Tide already have highly-rated quarterbacks on their roster, but there’s a chance Jalen Hurts transfers if rising sophomore phenom Tua Tagovailoa wins the starting job.
Minshew announced his decision to leave ECU a year early in late January to tend to a family matter back home in Mississippi. ECU had named Minshew the No. 1 quarterback heading into spring practices before his announcement.
Last season, Minshew completed 57.2 percent of his 304 passes for 2,140 yards, 16 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. He played in 10 games and started five last season. He finished with 3,487 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in 17 career games with ECU.
Minshew isn’t a dual-threat quarterback by any means. He never ran for a touchdown with ECU and finished with -76 rushing yards in 17 games at quarterback. His completion percentage is also a bit low. But the positives outweigh the negatives for Minshew, and adding him would give the Vols more depth and competition at the most important position on the field.
Tennessee is also still expected to be in the mix for Stanford grad transfer quarterback Keller Chryst as well.
The Vols currently only have three scholarship quarterbacks expected on the roster this fall. Right now, only two are on campus. Rising redshirt sophomore Jarrett Guarantano and rising sophomore Will McBride both played and started last season, but neither put a stranglehold on the position. Jeremy Pruitt and his staff added three-star J.T. Shrout in the 2018 signing class, and he’ll join Tennessee after the spring.
As a recruit, Minshew was a three-star prospect and No. 70 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2015 according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He signed with Troy out of high school but never played, going to Northwest Mississippi Community College instead. He was rated as a three-star by 247Sports in JUCO as well and signed with ECU in the 2016 class.