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'Just Perseverance': WSU teammates Gardner Minshew and Andre Dillard in Super Bowl LVII

Former Washington State teammates Gardner Minshew and Andre Dillard will be be suiting up for Super Bowl LVII on the same team.

PHOENIX — Former Washington State Cougars Gardner Minshew and Andre Dillard will be suiting up for Super Bowl LVII on the same team.

Minshew will serve as the Philadelphia Eagles' backup quarterback while Dillard will serve as the sixth man for Philly's dominant offensive line. 

Both players were a part of WSU's magical 2018 11-2 season. Now, they're playing in the sports' biggest game together. 

"It's so cool," said Gardner Minshew. "That's one of my best buds, and man, just super cool to be able to share that experience with him."

"It's been a wild ride. We've both come a long way as people and players and we were actually roommates in college. I was one of his first roommates when he showed up at Wazzu," said Andre Dillard. "It's just cool to watch him grow and for him to watch me grow."

Minshew and Dillard were long shots to make the NFL.

Neither were five or even four star recruits out of high school. They carved their path to the pros through Pullman.

"I don't know if anybody on the Washington State roster had another offer from any other Pac-12 school," said Gardner's father Flint Minshew in reference to WSU's 2018 football team. "It says a lot. You know, the work and the process will take you a lot further than just your talent."

Something Andres' father Mitch Dillard knows well, as he worked his way on to Washington State's roster as a walk-on in the 80's where he played multiple positions at WSU between 1983-1986.

"He really works hard, lifts hard, wants to be good at what he does. I think for the most part, just perseverance, its got him to where he is right now," said Mitch Dillard about his son Andre.

Perseverance, something that defines Gardner Minshew's career more than most.

Minshew started his college career at JUCO in Northwest Mississippi, transferring to East Carolina and then pondering a transfer to Alabama, where he would transition into a grad assistant coaching job at Alabama. 

But then, Mike leach and Washington State came knocking.

Rather than calling plays, he'll be ready to take over the Eagles offense if needed.

"It's unbelievable, man. I'm grateful every day just to be able to do what I do. To be here at a Super Bowl is something you dream of your whole life," said Gardner Minshew. "Just trying to take in every moment of it and enjoy it."

"I think one day he'll look back and go 'Dang, that was a pretty good run, especially when nobody even thought enough to even give me a division one offer," said Flint Minshew.

Dillard's path in the NFL has been more conventional post high school.

He became Washington State's first ever offensive lineman to be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft in 2019 with pick 22 by the Eagles. 

However, he's still exceeding expectations.

"It's exciting enough just to have him, you know, get drafted and play with the Eagles, but Super Bowl amazing," said Mitch Dillard.

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