Trent Dilfer: How Grit and Imagination led him to the NFL & the ‘Why’ behind being the Elite 11 Head Coach

How do you end your phone calls with your close friends and family? I spoke with Trent Dilfer on the subject and we realized we always end calls with “I love you.” We also spoke about the quarterback position and how Trent developed a sense of grit throughout his life. Click below to give our conversation a listen, and feel free to send me feedback and questions via Twitter, Facebook,Instagram or LinkedIn.

While each week in football we get caught up in certain games, the reality is that at the end of each season we only remember the stories that captured the nation the most. Three stories that will live on past this year come from the west coast.

Gardner Minshew, a graduate transfer at WSU, had plans to begin his coaching career at Alabama after his final season. But then a phone call from Mike Leech not only changed the trajectory of his career — but has uplifted an entire community. In May he became part of a team that had recently lost a starting QB to suicide. Instead of coming in and trying to be “the guy,” Minshew went to work, showing up early and staying late. It wasn’t until late in the summer that Minshew asked 6th year Senior Peyton Pelluer if he could address the team. Peyton obliged, and from that day on, Minshew has led the Cougars. Now Minshew leads the nation in passing, his mustache has taken on a life of it’s own, and he’s back on the field this weekend against Stanford, a game which I’m excited to call on Pac-12 Network.

The Utah Utes might have the most underrated yet passionate fanbase in the NCAA. They’ve sold out over 50 straight games, and this past weekend despite losing the most high profile recruit in their program’s history, they beat USC 41-28 in front of their home crowd in Rice Eccles Stadium. Two years ago on The Drive we followed their entire season — and watching them this weekend reminded me of something their head coach, Kyle Whittingham, loves to say: “You’re either in, or you’re in the way.” I’ve often brought that quote up to athletes in this program, and they all light up the same way. This year when things got tough and they lost to both UW and WSU they didn’t flinch because they were ‘all in.’

One of my favorite stories is that of Cade Spinello’s, a UCLA super fan also known as “Super Cade.” This past week he was at the Rose bowl watching his beloved Bruins. As the players came off the field, each of them made a point to shake his hand or give him a hug. It brought me back to when I was a kid watching all the high school players and waiting for them to leave the field. As I watched that video I couldn’t help but smile and admire the UCLA players for knowing that while their job may only last 60 minutes, their impact goes far beyond that.

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Much Love,


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