The purpose of today’s post is to wish a very Happy Birthday to Devin Gardner. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Devin James Gardner was born on this day in Detroit, Michigan. He became a star athlete in football and basketball at Inkster High School in Inkster, Michigan. Gardner led the football team to two-consecutive state championships in 2008 and 2009. He also helped the basketball team advance to the state semifinals in his junior year.
Devin Gardner was a five-star prospect who had offers from many of America’s top football programs. He chose Michigan because he felt “comfortable.” He had all the tools to run the Spread Offense that Rich Rodriguez was running at Michigan in 2009. The future definitely looked bright for Devin Gardner in 2010.
Gardner enrolled early at Michigan in January 2010. He only played in two games and burned his redshirt. When Rich Rodriguez was fired in January 2011, Gardner wasn’t sure what was going on in his football future. Brady Hoke made it clear that Denard Robinson was his starting quarterback in 2011. However, he also knew that Devin Gardner was a special athlete who needed to get on the field. Hoke’s “plan” was to rep Gardner at Quarterback and Wide Receiver.
Well, as it turned out, Brady Hoke’s “plan” didn’t work out as he hoped. Yes, 2011 was a great year, but the last three years got progressively worse. Of course, Brady was fired at the end of the 2014 season because his program was heading in the wrong direction.
Devin Gardner’s career looked a lot like Brady Hokes four years at Michigan. There were some very BIG “ups” and some really BIG “downs.” Here’s a quick review:
Yes, the proverbial “roof” fell in on Gardner, Coach Hoke and the entire Michigan Football team. Lots of things went wrong at the wrong time which resulted in a dismal season of 5 wins and 7 losses. The Wolverines ended the conference season at 3-5 for the second straight season. Not a good year.
When you look back at Devin Gardner’s Michigan Career, you can’t help but notice that he played some incredible games for the Wolverines. You will also notice that he played some that were not very good. Of course, he was only one man. Although he was a mobile quarterback, he seemed to be “running for his life” a lot, especially during 2014. He was criticized for his “inconsistency” and his decision making. Yes, that may be true, but I think that he always played with courage and commitment. It’s always easier to be the critic than it is to be the man in the “fight.” I liked the way that Devin Gardner fought, even in the toughest times, at Michigan.
Before I close this article out, I want to let you know that Devin Gardner was part of some important Michigan football “firsts.” Here are the best ones that I found:
So, today is a good day to remember a true Michigan Man named Devin Gardner. He was an excellent player who brought Michigan fans to their feet many times during his Wolverine football career. Yes, he had some “ups” and some “downs” during his time at Michigan. However, he always gave his all for Michigan and played the best he could, even when he was hurt. Devin Gardner was the brunt of a lot of unfair criticism, but he remains one of my favorite Wolverines of all-time. Thank you, Devin Gardner, for your contributions to the great history that is Michigan Football. I hope you have a very happy birthday today! Go Blue!
To find out more about Devin Gardner check out the links below: