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Report: ECU Grad Transfer QB Gardner Minshew Expected To Join Alabama Football

Fans of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide display their body paint during the game with the Louisiana State University Tigers.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 12: Fans of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide display their body paint during the game with the Louisiana State University Tigers on November 12, 2005 at at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. LSU defeated Alabama 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Things aren't official yet. However, it appears that Gardner Minshew will be the graduate transfer quarterback that Alabama has been looking for.

Minshew has elected to head closer to home for his final collegiate season. He was the starter at ECU by season's end, and also played a decent amount for the Pirates in 2016 after transferring in from the JuCo ranks.

He cites a family matter as his reason to transfer. Minshew is originally from Brandon, Mississippi. ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery wished him well after he made the decision to leave back in late January.

“Our full support is for Gardner and his family during this time. He’s been an asset and leader in our program, but our first priority is to be there for him today, tomorrow and the days afterward.

The door will certainly remain open for his return to ECU, and when it’s appropriate for us to talk about football again, we will do so.”

Minshew was expected to enter the season as the starter for the Pirates. Instead, he may be willing to take a backup role in order to be closer to home.

Now, it appears that Alabama will be his new school. He has been connected to the Crimson Tide for a few weeks, and took a visit over the weekend.

According to a report, at this time Gardner Minshew is expected to transfer to Alabama over the summer.

247Sports says things aren't official, as there is no National Letter of Intent equivalent to lock Minshew in. However, right now Alabama is the plan for the grad transfer.

Speaking to sources with knowledge of the situation, Minshew very much enjoyed the visit to the Capstone and, for now, the plan is to join the program this summer.

While Minshew can’t practice with the team this spring, sources say he is looking forward to being around the facilities often in the next few months for meetings and to take in practices, all in an effort to acclimate himself to the team for his arrival this summer.

Gardner Minshew provides immediate depth, and perhaps more importantly, a contingency plan in the event that one of Alabama's two big name quarterbacks leaves. Jalen Hurts has been the established starter for two seasons, and has taken Alabama to two national championship games. However, he was supplanted by Tua Tagovailoa, who led Alabama to a comeback victory, in the most recent title game.

Nick Saban will have a big decision to make. Right now, most are treating Tagovailoa as the favorite in the race, but whomever loses the job could start for the vast majority of other programs and look to transfer. If that is the case, having an experienced backup like Minshew would be very valuable.