MOBILE, Ala. – When quarterback Gardner Minshew wanted to get a head start on preparing for the Senior Bowl, he contacted someone who knows all about putting in extra work.

Minshew got in touch with 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens for a rundown of what he would need to know about the offense before he stepped in the meeting room with the 49ers' coaching staff.

“I’ve never really worked out with him, but I got to know him when he was at Southern Miss,” Minshew said of Mullens. “We’ve just stayed in touch and always wished each other well. We've become friends.”

Minshew reached out to Mullens to begin learning the offensive terminology, along with the different formations, protections and some of the main coaching points he would be hearing from coach Kyle Shanahan and Mike LaFleur, who is working with the quarterbacks this week.

Minshew, a Mississippi native, appears to have a lot in common with Mullens, including a meticulous attention to detail and work ethic.

“We have a lot of similarities,” Minshew said. “Coming out of high school we were under-recruited guys. We’re similar stature-wise, and we were overlooked in that facet. But we’re going to do everything we can to prepare and when we get our chance, we’re going to do well with it.”

Minshew, a Mississippi native, measured in this week at just under 6 foot 1 -- the same height as Mullens.

Mullens went to Southern Mississippi for four seasons before signing with the 49ers as an undrafted rookie. Mullens started the final eight games of the season for the 49ers and led the team in passing. Mullens' 2,277 yards passing is the fourth-most since 1970 for quarterbacks through eight career games.


Minshew bounced around from Troy to Northwest Mississippi Community Collge to East Carolina before exploding on the scene at Washington State this season. He won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the top senior with a nation-leading 367.6 yards passing per game in Mike Leach’s offense.