Counted Out: Gerberry Living The Dream in Minnesota
To know Jack Gerberry is to know every underdog story you can imagine. But his story is a bit unique. Born and raised in Blacksburg, VA, Jack was always the little kid who could throw the heck out of a football. He didn't even reach his current height of six feet until his 19th birthday after his freshman year in college. One trait that Jack always displayed, was mental toughness. To be told you're always the smallest or you're not the quickest or fastest, is humbling to the average person. To Jack, it was fuel. He used the slights and negativity to push himself to being one of the best players in the state of Virginia by his Senior year of high school. He only carried five scholarship offers from programs to play D-1 football. Akron, Nevada, UVA, Cincinnati & Rutgers. He received interest from Florida State University on the strength that his uncle and father played for the school in the 80s. The offer from FSU was essentially an offer to walk-on. The deal the coaches gave him was for Gerberry to come and probably have to sit for 2-3 years and hope he could play his way on to a full scholarship. Another challenge for Jack to achieve. So instead of having better chances to play early at the other schools, he decided to enroll at FSU with the goal being becoming their starting QB as quickly as he can.
After redshirting his first season, Jack was listed as the backup on the preseason depth chart entering his redshirt freshman year after two QBs transferred to different programs. He didn’t see any action until their final game of the season vs. Auburn where he stepped in for the starter and threw for 3 TDs in a comeback victory in the Sugar Bowl. He became the starter in the following year and went on to throw for over 4,000 yards with 34 TDs and just 3 INTs. Being that he was 3rd-yr sophomore, he made himself eligible for the draft after receiving 1st-2nd rd draft grade from the MBL’s advisory committee. He was pegged as the 5th best QB in the class. With six going in the 1st round of the latest MBL rookie draft, Gerberry was taken 6th overall by the Minnesota Vikings. “It was something about that phone call I received from the front office that day that made me feel I was going to the right place.” Says Gerberry, who opted to spend the draft at home in Blacksburg with his family than the Green Room at the draft. He was gifted the keys to the franchise and was made the opening-day starter coming into Week 29. Out the gate, Jack struggled as he threw 5 INTs in his first three games which helped the team fall to 0-3 out the gate. Since then, the Vikings are 10-0 averaging 38 pts a game during this streak. Gerberry hasn’t thrown an INT in his last five games. He’s thrown for 15 TDs in that same span. “I’m just enjoying the game that I love. Our coaches have made the calls that put us in the best situations and I’m just making the best read. It helps to have the weapons I do also. These guys have made it easy for me to get the love I’m getting I guess.” Jack has begun to take the west coast system to an elite level in just his rookie season. Through all the doubt he has faced in his years, he continues to shine. You ask any teammate about him and they all love him. “He’s never down. Always upbeat, smiling, you would think he’s never mad.” WR Javonte Turner explained, “There’s not a play that I was a part of where he wasn’t smiling in the huddle. Too cool man.”
That’s what you get with QB Jack Gerberry. A lot of toughness, plenty of focus but even more heart. Minnesota looks to be in good hands for many years to come.