Sunday, September 20, 2009

An Interview with Devin Gardner

Maize and Blog is delighted to bring you a special interview with Inkster High School QB Devin Gardner, the number 1 ranked QB prospect in the country, and current Michigan commit. Special Recruiting Correspondent and contributor (and current Michigan sophomore) Lauren Winfrey talked to Devin about his game, his season, recruiting rankings, and playing right away at Michigan.

Now that the season is underway, what expectations do you have for yourself as well as your team?

Answer: “I would like to improve not only as a quarterback, but as a football player overall. I also want to win a state championship.”

What are you looking forward to most this season?

Answer: “I am looking forward to playing all of the out of state teams this season, while proving that Inkster is a really good team by winning a state championship.”

The list of out of state teams that the Inkster Vikings will face off against this season includes:

St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio)

St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio)

Steubenville (Steubenville, Ohio)

What do you still need to improve on as a player?

Answer: “Everything. I want to be perfect and since perfection is impossible to achieve, I will work everyday as hard as I can to improve on everything until I am as close to perfection as possible.”

What’s your record so far this season?

Answer: “1-2. So far we’ve played Pioneer (L) ,East Kentwood (L), and St. Edwards (W).”

What are you doing to prepare for your next game? Who’s the game against?

Answer: “I’m practicing, watching film, and studying my opponent. Our next game is against Highland Park (Friday September 25 at Highland Park High).”

Do you feel slighted by Ohio State’s lack of an early offer?

Answer: “I don’t feel slighted at all.”

Did that play a role in your commitment to Michigan, or were you always leaning more toward Michigan?

Answer: “No. I didn’t always want to go to Michigan and the lack of an early offer from Ohio State was never a factor, I just wanted to go to the school that was best for me.” has you pegged as the number 1 quarterback of any style in the country. Do you feel any added pressure to go out and prove you deserve that ranking?

Answer: “No. I just wanna win football games and whether I’m ranked number one or not I’m still gonna be the same football player, but it is nice to be so highly ranked.”

Do you think recruits in general pay too much attention to rankings?

Answer: “Definitely, because whether you’re highly ranked or not you still have to believe in yourself and your abilities to be the best player you can be—the rankings alone don’t make the player.”

There's a perception that "dual-threat" quarterbacks don't have as good a chance making it to the NFL and that "pro-style" quarterbacks do. You've obviously committed to Rich Rodriguez's spread offense - do you feel it gives you just as good a shot to make the NFL than any other offense?

Answer: “Yes, because I’m going to be the same player, no matter what style of offense I have to run, and I’ll always work on my game.”

Obviously it's early, but Tate Forcier has done pretty well for Michigan so far in the 2009 season. Does his performance have any impact on your commitment?

Answer: “No. I knew Tate was a good quarterback before he started playing for Michigan, and I expected him to do well.”

How do you feel about possibly ‘red-shirting’?

Answer: “I’m gonna do my best to prevent it by showing the coaches that I am too good of a player to sit out.”

What do you think about claims that Michigan State has dominated in-state recruiting in recent years?

Answer: “I don’t think they have dominated ‘in-state’ recruiting. Some people gauge recruiting statistics based off of how highly ranked a player is (on various websites, in the media, etc.), as a result the players that aren’t ranked as high don’t receive as much attention, but they’re still very good players who are being recruited just the same.”

Lastly, what keeps you motivated?

Answer: The nay sayers—the people who count me out of the QB race at Michigan when I haven’t even stepped foot on the field.”


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