"With me, you better prepare for everything you think could happen because anything can happen when I've got the ball in my hands. I've got the ball in my hands every play, and it's my show."Devin Gardner deserved better than this.
- ESPN, 2009
Devin Gardner deserves to be remembered for more than just the guy who succeeded Denard Robinson and has thrown 24 interceptions to only 29 touchdowns the last two years.
Never before has a Michigan quarterback given so much for his team on and off the field, and received so little in return in terms of overall success. Sure, it can be easy to point the finger at him as the primary reason for Michigan's struggles these last two years, he is the quarterback after all...but he's certainly not the only one out on that field who should have to shoulder that burden.
Three offensive coordinators, two head coaches, two positions, a season-ending injury in 2010 and numerous injuries since...all of it endured with not so much as a cross word or anything less than a full-throated support of whomever was calling the plays or lining up next to him. He received his bachelors degree in 3 years and is currently pursuing his masters in social work. He spends much of his free time, even during the season, with the kids at Mott Children's Hospital – all the while wearing Tom Harmon's legendary #98 on national television every Saturday.
For every dropped pass, errant throw, missed block, bad play call or just tough break, Gardner blames no one but himself. After every Michigan loss, and they have been plentiful, Devin reiterates the need for he to do better...be a better leader...help his team more. The kid has more reasons than anyone to judge or criticize those around him, yet he never will. That's just not who he is.
After Denard left I never thought I'd want a quarterback to win so much as I do Devin Gardner. I've been a Michigan fan a long time and I've watched a lot players come and go. But just like it was with Denard, there's just something about the kind of man Devin is. He keeps getting back up. He keeps coming at you. There is no quit in him.
That's Devin Gardner.
And much like is was with Denard, it has been my pleasure to cover Devin Gardner during his time at Michigan. Tomorrow is senior day and no one...no one has earned it more than number ninety-eight.
“It seems like (I’ve been here) a long time, but this is only a small chunk of my life,” Gardner says. “When you come to college, it’s not just to play football. You come to college to become a better man.-MLive, 8/25/14
“I know I’m a better man because of it.”