Sometimes in life things just don’t go according to the plan and when the plan is changed or doesn’t work out you have two options; you can either quit and sulk, while looking for reasons and people to blame on why things didn’t work out – or you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again.
This piece isn’t intended to dive into any geo political issues or debate the “state of the state”, as there are plenty of other sites that do that for you; however, in today’s climate we are seeing a sensitivity level hit an all-time high with Millennials and college aged kids – from the now ever popular “let’s rant on social media and let me tell you why I am mistreated”, to the “safe corners” now provided on college campuses and teachers and professors dismissing students from hard line conversation and debates to protect their feelings.
The world we live in is tough and sometimes things just don’t go right and to make it you have to be equally as tough, both mentally and physically.
One Millennial that has yet to let the process beat him down is Northwest Rangers quarterback Gardner Minshew.
Minshew – from Brandon, Mississippi, who many are familiar with, is one of Mississippi high school footballs all-time leading quarterbacks as he won over 40 games in high school, threw for thousands upon thousands of yards, threw for over 80 touchdowns as a prep Phenom and led his team to the state championship in 2012.
As a quarterback, Minshew can make every throw a quarterback needs to make to succeed at the college level. He can also make numerous reads on every play (pre and post snap), dissect defenses with the best of them and buy his own time in the pocket, while making just the right decision to unleash a laser strike to receivers down field.
Many felt those attributes would have college coaches on Minshew’s heals to sign scholarship papers back last year, but that never happened. Minshew graduated high school early, enrolled at the University of Troy – and then decided to head back to Mississippi to play in the MACJC as he enrolled at Northwest Community College in Senatobia.
As a high profile athlete this probably isn’t the road you expect to travel, but Minshew did what many Millennials wouldn’t do. He shook it off, rolled with the punches and went back to work.
Minshew guided his football team at Northwest to an 11-1 record in 2015, claiming a state title, then ultimately a junior college national championship just last week. Minshew also claimed the MS Bowl Committe Player of the Year Award as well.
MS Bowl VIII: Gardner Minshew named MS Bowl Committee POTY, Justin Crawford Off. MVP & Chris Williams Def. MVP. pic.twitter.com/6S7rpDMJ9O
— Northwest Rangers (@NWCC_Rangers) December 11, 2015
For the year Minshew threw for 3,288 yards, 28 touchdowns to only five interceptions, while completing 61% of his passes. Those numbers are numbers many a division one college team would love to have.
On top of winning the national championship, Minshew has already garnered his associate’s degree, and is eligible to transfer in January, depending on what he decides to do and what options may be available to him.
Mission complete. #1 Northwest rolls to a 66-13 win over #2 RCTC to claim its 3rd football title in program history! pic.twitter.com/VgGYrohuYI
— Northwest Rangers (@NWCC_Rangers) December 6, 2015
If things aren’t necessarily where Minshew feels they need to be, he will return to Northwest for another year and look to continue to improve his game and sharpen his skills.
Minshew’s big break will come eventually and when it does it will be because of all of the work he has put in and tireless hours he has put into his goals and his never say die mentality. On top of that, one lucky university will be getting a guy that has all the tools, both mentally and physically needed to be successful and a guy who has supreme leadership skills – skills that are highly coveted in today’s society.
Minshew’s story is a unique one and one that many Millennials could learn from, because in today’s climate we sure could use a few more Gardner Minshew’s and a lot less sensitivity corners on campuses.