GREENVILLE, N.C. Junior Gardner Minshew has been tabbed as ECU’s starting quarterback for the Pirates’ opener against James Madison according to an announcement by head football coach Scottie Montgomery following practice early Tuesday evening.

Minshew played in seven games as a sophomore in 2016, opening the last two in place of an injured Philip Nelson. Overall, he completed 119-of-202 passes for 1,347 yards and eight touchdowns while suffering four interceptions.

Montgomery indicated that graduate transfer Thomas Sirk, who Minshew edged out during a competitive position battle, will serve as the top backup heading into the Sept. 2 opener against the FCS defending national champion Dukes.

“We are the point where we need to get ready to play a game and additional reps are obviously an important part of that preparation,” Montgomery said. “We like the way each manages the team, both from a leadership and execution standpoint, but Gardner has a little more familiarity with our current personnel.”