There's literally no place I'd rather be.

That was the exact thought going through my head last October. Our team was facing # 12 Oregon, and if I couldn't tell it was a big game by the sell-out crowd and a national television audience, I could tell when ESPN GameDay showed up on our campus. Everybody was there...from my mom, my dad, my sisters, to my high school coaches.

Nobody wanted to miss this game. I'm just glad our team gave everybody something to cheer about. We pulled out a 34-20 victory that night, and the last seconds had barely ticked by when 30,000 people rushed down to the field to celebrate with us.


But before we actually left Martin Stadium, I took a moment to soak it all in.

This is exactly where I'm supposed to be right now.

It remains one of the happiest moments of my career. But as I told some of the guys on our team later on, the same guy that was carried off the field that night was the same guy who was getting booed off the field at East Carolina.

(Photo courtesy of East Carolina Athletics)

My name is Gardner Minshew and I played quarterback last year at Washington State University. Only a few people in Pullman knew that name a year ago, but it's amazing what can happen when you surrender to God's plan.

It was just about a year ago - the day before last year's NFL Draft - when I logged on to my Twitter account and posted this...


I'm spending my time training for the draft these days, but if you would have looked at that tweet a year ago, you might have thought I was crazy. The only people who believed in my dream were probably my friends and family.

And maybe Mike Leach.

When I got the phone call from Mike Leach, I hardly resembled an NFL pick. I had lost more games than I had won at ECU, and had struggled to the point where I lost my position as the starting quarterback. But sometimes in life, whether it was with my tweet or with Mike's phone call, you need to take a chance.

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(Title photo courtesy of Getty Images Sports)

Thomas Hager