Plot twist: Instead of going to Alabama, Gardner Minshew picks Washington State

East Carolina quarterback Gardner Minshew (5) looks to the sideline for a play in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Memphis, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Former East Carolina quarterback Gardner Minshew is not transferring to Alabama after all.

He told Sports Illustrated earlier in the year that he was heading to the Tide as a graduate transfer. He had left ECU because of a family situation in his home state of Mississippi.

Tuesday, he tweeted he was heading to Washington State.

Minshew will be eligible immediately at Washington State.

Had he transferred to Alabama, he likely would have been behind both Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa on the depth chart if they both stayed at the school for the 2018 season. At Washington State he’ll have the chance to compete for the starting job following the tragic death of Tyler Hilinski.

Hilinski was set to take over for Luke Falk as the team’s starting quarterback in 2018 and started the team’s Holiday Bowl loss to Michigan State. Hilinski died because of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in January.

Minshew told SI’s Bruce Feldman that his choice of Washington State is partially because of his NFL aspirations.

“This is an opportunity to compete for a (starting) job on a very good team with a staff that I’ve always looked up to and respected,” he told SI Tuesday. “I’ve got goals as an (aspiring) coach but also as a player, and my goal right now is to get a shot in the NFL. And I think this will give me a good opportunity at that.”

Minshew threw for 2,140 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2017 after taking over as East Carolina’s starting quarterback for Thomas Sirk. 

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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