In 2016, East Carolina had its fair share of troubles on the offensive side of the ball -- and quarterback was one of them.
As was the case with the running back position, hopes at quarterback were high at the beginning after a strong performance against NC State. Following that game, the wheels seemed to fall off the wagon.
Philip Nelson, senior transfer from Rutgers, slung five touchdowns in the season opener, and then completed almost 77 percent of his passes in a 33-30 win against the Wolfpack. Overall, Nelson had a better season than most people would realize. His passer rating fell below 100 only once and he finished 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
As the season progressed, Nelson was battled with injuries and questionable red zone decisions. This led the way for sophomore Gardner Minshew to get on the field.
Minshew had some flashes of hope and promise, but his youth and inexperience showed at times. The perfect personification of his performance came against UCF. In back to back possessions, Minshew threw a 75 yard touchdown pass, followed by an interception that went for a touchdown for Central Florida.
Minshew will have the opportunity to have an offense built around him and his skillset during the offseason. This will allow Minshew and the offense to not only gain chemistry, but also develop their specific style of play that compliments his strengths.
Another addition ECU has made to the quarterback position is Charlotte (N.C.) Vance signal-caller Kingsley Ifedi, who had an amazing senior year season. Ifedi, a dual-threat quarterback, will also likely push for playing time next fall.