Can you name the only true freshman walk-on quarterbacks to start the season opener for a Power 5 conference team?
It's a short list, and Zack Annexstad of the Gophers is on it. The other is Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Using what they had in common as a connection, P.J. Fleck somehow convinced Mafield to call Annexstad the night before he made his debut with the Gophers against New Mexico State last week.
"He called and talked to Zack for about 15 to 20 minutes," Fleck said Monday. “It was good for Zack to hear from him because people had mentioned him. Any time you can get advice from a guy who has been through what you’ve been through, it’s good."
Mayfield started as a true freshman walk-on at Texas Tech in 2013 and later transferred to Oklahoma, where he won the Heisman Trophy and was drafted first overall by the Browns. He's now the backup quarterback to Tyrod Taylor, and is considered the franchise quarterback of the future in Cleveland.
Annexstad had a solid debut in Minnesota's 48-10 win over New Mexico State last week. The true freshman from Norseland, Minnesota (near Mankato) completed 16-of-33 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns.
Mayfield completed 64.1 percent of his passes in one year at Texas Tech, adding 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He sat out the entire 2014 season because of transfer rules and then lit up world at Oklahoma with more than 12,000 yards and 119 touchdown passes over the next three years.
The Gophers are back at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday at 6:30 p.m. against Fresno State.