In 2019, the opportunity came knocking for then Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, who was a sixth-round draft pick in last year’s draft. Minshew stepped in for an injured Nick Foles and ultimately started 12 games for Jacksonville, which helped him become the team’s starter in 2020.
However, after injuring his thumb, Minshew will miss Sunday’s home game for Jacksonville(1-6) against the Texans(1-6). In his place will be rookie quarterback Jake Luton, who, like Minshew, was a sixth-round pick. On Wednesday, the former Oregon State product discussed the similarities between his and Minshew’s journey.
“We’ve talked about it a little bit,” Luton said. “We’ve had a couple conversations. I remember one we had at the hotel over dinner, kind of just talking about our paths and the journeys we’ve taken, and it’s really cool. I remember a couple years ago facing off against him and watching him for Washington State and how much success he had. It’s a small world. It’s crazy how our paths have now crossed. I think our different journeys and our roads, all the different steps that we’ve taken has helped us both. Now, being together, I think it’s helped us even more. We push each other pretty well, and I think he has a lot of knowledge to bring to the table.”
Minshew has struggled at times this season, and currently the Jaguars are on a six-game losing streak, so Luton has an opportunity to prove that maybe he could Jacksonville’s quarterback of the future, and according to the rookie, he will be ready.
“I think playing the quarterback position, I think you have to be pretty even-keeled,” Luton said. “It’s what I pride myself in is just being composed at all times. I think that’s something the team really looks to and guys really respect. I just try to approach it day in and day out as a first-year guy coming in and preparing like I’m going to play, and whether I am or not, I’m going to prepare that way so when my time comes, I’ll be ready.”
Obviously, Luton wants to perform at a high level, but no matter what happens, playing in the NFL is a dream come true.
“As a kid, I wanted to do this my whole life,” he said. “I dreamed of playing in the NFL, and getting that opportunity to step out, there will definitely be a dream come true. I don’t know that I could really compare it to anything I’ve experience this far.”
Both Luton and Minshew could be gone after this season. However, if Luton plays well, he could keep the job going forward for Jacksonville. So, again, this is an excellent chance for Luton to show what he brings to the table.