Posted at 6:00am -- 4/22/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan..."/> Posted at 6:00am -- 4/22/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan..."/>

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Devin Gardner — Spring Evaluations


Posted at 6:00am — 4/22/2011

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Devin Gardner — Spring Evaluations

GBMWolverine Football Spring Evaluations: Position by Position — Player Profile.

GBMWolverine readers: Here is a brief overview of Devin Gardner and GBMWolverine’s analysis concerning his progress this spring with the new system.

Note: We will not evaluate every player on the team and with this position group (quarterbacks) we will not evaluate #4 Steve Wilson or #14 Jack Kennedy. If you would like to chat about these players bring them up on the message board, in chat on Monday nights, or send us an e-mail request.

Coming in: Russell Bellomy (Martin).

Losing: Nobody

Devin Gardner
Height: 6’4
Weight: 210
Number: 7
Position: Quarterback
Year: Sophomore
City/State: Detroit, Michigan
High School: Inkster


Just like Denard Robinson, Devin Gardner showed improvement during the spring practice session, especially during the last two weeks of practice. Just as our staff mentioned about Denard, Devin is faced, like all Michigan players, with learning an entire new system that is based on a quarterback making proper reads and checks (not just one simple series, or option, but a multiple and diverse system). His progress will continue to be a work in progress during summer workouts and fall practices.

In our opinion, Devin will push Denard for the starting quarterback position this year and that is a good thing.


Devin Gardner’s upside/ceiling is considerable.

He has NFL size and shows a good arm and football awareness.

As mentioned above, Devin also showed excellent improvement and Michigan would be in great hands with him under center, if conditions dictate.

Gardner is a very good athlete and he too is no slouch with his legs. He almost lulls defenders to sleep because they do not believe he is that fast, but indeed he is, especially when the defense does not have an angle and is forced to catch him from behind. His long striders make it look like he is not ball carrier fast. Again he is not Denard fast, but who really is at the quarterback position?

So summarizing we believe Gardner has the tools and the other intangibles and will push Denard for the starting quarterback job.

Devin seems to understand the offense, for the most part, and this offense seems to really flourish in his presence and the offense enhances what Devin likes to do with his game. This statement is made in spite of the interceptions thrown in the spring game; discount those mistakes as part of a broader learning curve.

The quarterback position group at Michigan is small on depth, but has excellent talent. It is a great thing that Michigan has two great athletes at this position.

Needs Work:

As we mentioned Denard and Devin both have improved over the off-season. Again like anybody there are some things that Devin needs to work on.
Like Denard, Devin has some “issues” with his timing in the new offense. He needs to improve in this regard and needs to get rid of the ball quicker. In this offense (Modified West Coast Pro), timing may not be everything, but it almost is everything. Think of a BYU offense that has historically released the ball in a split second window beating a defender by a mere few inches. The ball must simply be there at the right time in the right window. This is not the easiest set to master, but when executed, nightmares ensue for defenders and coordinators. If the timing is off, run, run, pass, and punt becomes the familiar result. So even though Michigan is going back to the power running game, like every offense the threat of the pass and the resulting execution keeps the defense honest and spread out.

As stated Devin needs work on getting rid of the ball quicker and not holding it as long. Maybe this deficiency was by design this spring to allow Devin to go through all the reads, but several times he was standing back there a long time and this will not work with an actual pass rush.

Contributing This Year?

We believe Devin is likely to be the back up early in the season. We believe that Devin will see reps and get an approximate number of snaps per game and his skills will be worked into the offensive game plan.

Final Thoughts:

It would be great to get some separation between Devin and Denard regarding academic year status. The staff hopes that at some point in time Devin will be able to get a medical red-shirt for last season. But typically the NCAA holds off until a possible fifth year on such decisions.

As we stated under Denard’s final thoughts, here is another new (and quite different) offense to learn and another new coaching staff from whom to absorb the necessary knowledge and technique. This is tough on players, especially with limited access prior to spring practices and only having fifteen practices in the spring to get acclimated to the new scheme.

We will see the biggest improvement, not only with Devin, but the entire team, during the summer workouts and fall camp.

Competition in a coach’s eyes is a beautiful thing with Coach Borges and Coach Hoke. Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner pushing each other during the spring practices and beyond will only make them better, especially with the opportunities of summer workouts, film studies, and fall camp. Both quarterbacks have demonstrated a history of putting in the time to get better.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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