Arkansas Tops Gardner's List

Rocklin (CA) Sierra College wide receiver Courtney Gardner (6-3, 215, 4.4) is one of the nation's best junior college wideouts and has Arkansas at the top of his recruiting list.

Rocklin (CA) Sierra Community College wide receiver Courtney Gardner is very clear about who is at the top of his recruiting list.

"Arkansas is my number one school," Gardner said. "That is where I want to go."

Gardner (6-3, 215, 4.4) had hoped he would be getting to Fayetteville soon, but learned Tuesday that he would have to be at Sierra one more semester.

"Arkansas coaches were out here and looked at my transcript and I am not going to be able to be a mid-term graduate and get in there," Gardner said. "So I will just keep taking care of my business here and be ready when the time comes."

Gardner, who had 61 catches for over 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, to take a visit to Arkansas Dec. 16-18, but that will be backed up a bit now.

"Since I am not going to be coming in during January, the Razorback coaches want me to back that up and come in sometime during their bowl practices," Gardner said. "That's cool with me. It will give me a chance to see what their workouts are like."

Gardner will now visit Pittsburgh on Dec. 16-18 and is also talking to Michigan State and Auburn to set up visits.

He also has scholarship offers from California, Washington and Mississippi State.

"(Auburn quarterback commit) Zeke Pike is calling me and trying to get me to visit down there," Gardner said. "We'll just see how everything plays itself out."

Gardner is a big, physical receiver who knows Arkansas is graduating three seniors who have been playmakers for four years.

"Arkansas coaches have told me that if I come down there and work hard that the playing time and being an impact player is right there in front of me," Gardner said. "They think I could do some of the things that Wright did for them this season and find the end zone a lot like he did."

Gardner, a former prep star at Reno(NV) Hug, had 22 catches for 405 yards and five touchdowns in his first year at Sierra before having a breakout season during this campaign.

"I think my biggest strength is big and physical I am and how I can break tackles and get yards after the catch," Gardner said. "I want to keep working on my route running and increasing my speed."

Sierra did not have the team success it wanted on the field this season that started out 0-3 and with the departure of Jeff Tisdel due to health problems."

"We were just 4-7 overall and 3-5," Gardner said. "We had a lot of injuries and had the deal with our coach."

But Gardner had individual success.

"I've been named to the all-conference and all-star teams and I am expecting to be an All-American," Gardner said. "I just wanted to go and ball out, help my team win and get ready for the next level."

Courtney Gardner goes up over two defenders to make a catch.

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