University of Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner has been the center of a lot of talk, speculation, and opinions as to what role he will and should play in the upcoming 2012 football season. Well, Michigan’s head coach has put the speculation to rest. According to Michigan football reporter Kyle Meinke and Ann Arbor.com, Devin Gardner will play wide receiver for the Wolverines. Gardner will still serve as the back-up quarterback, but the Wolverines are looking for a way to get Gardner more touches. While a move like this has been rumored for some time in the University of Michigan football circles, this is the first time head coach Brady Hoke has openly and publicly spoken on the subject at length. Among his statements regarding Gardner, Hoke said:
We have a chance to get Devin on the field as a wide receiver some, because of his athleticism. He’s a big guy. So, I think we’ve got all kinds of different things that we look towards with Devin.
Devin Gardner was regarded as the number one duel threat quarterback in the country coming out of high school. He is now a junior and has had trouble getting significant snaps from the quarterback position due to the emergence of quarterback Denard Robinson as one of the most exciting players in the nation. Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 205 pounds, Gardner has the size and speed to be a serious threat in multiple ways for the Wolverines. At receiver, Michigan returns Roy Roundtree, who stands at 6’0″, and Jeremy Gallon, who is 5’8″. Gardner’s size will give Robinson a nice and needed large target. Denard is looking forward to having the added threat and recognizes Gardner’s tremendous athleticism. Here’s what Robinson had to say about Gardner and the new Michigan receiver:
Devin is one of the best athletes I’ve ever seen. He can make some plays happen — he can be an impact player. Whatever position he is on the football field, he’s an impact player.
You see him on the football field, you look at No. 12 he’s wearing now (after wearing No. 7 last year), you see him on the field, he’s going to be explosive at quarterback, receiver, even if he goes to running back. He’s an impact player.
He’s an athlete, so when you see him at receiver, you think he’s a receiver. He can play ball — he can straight-out play ball. That’s just Devin.
The University of Michigan Wolverines open the season in Arlington, Texas, at Cowboys Stadium, against the University of Alabama Crimson Tide on September 1. The combination of Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner going against the vaunted Crimson Tide defense will be must see TV.