Player Spotlight: Alex Gardinier

When college coaches look at some of the top uncommitted players in the state of Kansas during the season the name Alex Gardinier from Circle High School in Towanda will certainly pop out at them. Despite playing with the headline-making Jordan Phillip, Gardinier has plenty of potential in his own right. He even credits Phillips with helping him obtain more exposure in recruiting circles.

"Jordan and I would go to colleges for games," said Alex Gardinier. "We also went to a few camps together where I got a chance to talk with coaches. It was nice of him to take me with him on those trips."

Phillips committed to the University of Oklahoma in June. Now the recruiting attention at Circle shifts to Gardinier who is fired up for a big senior year to showcase his talent.

"I've played a lot of offense at quarterback and wide receiver," Gardinier said. "This year I want to focus on D playing free safety. Hopefully I'll have a good season and get some offers."

Gardinier, 6-1, 195, is all athlete. He competes for the Circle track team at the javelin and the decathlon. His prowess as a track star has peaked some schools' interest as well for a scholarship offer. You can even find Gardinier on the hardwood during hoops season. He's a small forward on the Circle Thunderbirds basketball team.

"I've been a starter as a freshman on the football team," Gardinier said. "The guy in front of me tore his ACL in the first game, and I've been starting ever since. At defensive back I think I have good make-up speed. I've always had a knack for anticipating where the ball's going. I do a good job of reading the quarterback well."

Being a quarterback himself could help Gardinier in that facet of the game. As a junior he made 1st team All-League (Arkansas Valley-Chisholm Trail Division IV) as a defensive back and 2nd team All-League as a quarterback. He was also named All-State (4A) honorable mention at defensive back.

"My best game last year was a conference game against Wellington where I had 180 passing yards and 140 rushing yards with three touchdowns," Gardinier said. "Our goal is to make the playoffs and win our district. I just want to go out with a winning season."

The Thunderbirds were 4-5 a year ago. Led by head coach Lee LaMunyon, there's an air of excitement for 2010 with 13 starters returning.

"Over the summer I was at the Friday Night Lights camp at KU," said Gardinier. "I was also at a 7-on-7 at K-State. I felt I did pretty good job there defensively. I learned a lot which will help me during the season."

A good student, Gardinier reports a 3.0 GPA and a score of 20 on the ACT. With a strong senior performance he knows scholarship offers will be forthcoming.

"A good coaching staff is very important to me," said Gardinier. "I'd like to go to a school where the coaches are easy to talk to and get along with."

Circle will play their first game of the season on September 3rd verses Maize South.

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