November 11, 2008
Gardner continues to impress
The 2008 season has been a busy one for Detroit (Mich.) Inkster high school quarterback Devin Gardner. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder has enjoyed personal and team successes all season long and now his team is 10-1 and ready to take on Chelsea (9-2) in the Division 3 regional finals after winning the first two playoff games by a combined score of 102-0.
Personally the Rivals100 watch member for the class of 2010 has seen his own numbers rise dramatically this season with a combined total of 41 touchdowns including 22 via the air and 19 on the ground. Production is just one of the areas that Gardner feels that he has made vast improvements on his own personal game.
"I feel I have gotten better with my throwing ability and being able to read defenses," Gardner said. "I am reading them a lot better than I did last year. Last year I only had nine touchdowns all together, so this year with 22 (passing) and 19 (rushing) is a big difference."
Gardner is every bit of a dual threat quarterback but the junior signal caller is learning that he can't only rely on his legs and that his patience will pay off.
"I am not taking off too early but taking off when I need to," Gardner said. "When I am (scrambling) I am looking downfield to pass more than last year. That is why a lot of guys come open."
Gardner is closing in on double digit offers including in-state powers like Michigan and Michigan State as well as other Big Ten heavy hitters like Wisconsin, Purdue and Iowa. The junior quarterback has gone on record before saying that he grew up as an Ohio State fan
is a Buckeye offer coming anytime soon?
"I am still talking with coach (Paul) Haynes," Gardner said. "He said he is just waiting on me to get some tape out to him so I am getting that put together right now."
Does it sound like once the Buckeyes get tape on the talented quarterback that the wheels will really be put into motion?
"They just want to see tape before they offer," Gardner said.
The question always comes up if there is a disadvantage to a school for not jumping in with the first offer on a player. Will Ohio State be penalized in Gardner's eyes for not being one of the first schools to offer him?
"It is early," Gardner said. "So no school is going to fall behind (for not offering yet) .Ohio State is just taking their time."
Gardner admits that all things are equal right now and that the Buckeyes have just as much of a shot of landing him as anyone who has offered him right now.
Is there any chance that Gardner might make the trip south in two weeks to see the Buckeyes and Wolverines play in the season finale in Columbus (Ohio)?
"If we don't have a game on the day of the Ohio State vs. Michigan game I want to go down to that game," Gardner said. "But I have to see if we have a game first."
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