Instead of joining the Spartans last fall, Gardner worked on improving his ACT score and during that process things changed in East Lansing. John L. Smith was removed from his position at Michigan State and the former U of L head coach referred the 6'5, 260-pound tight end to Cardinal head coach Bobby Petrino.
Gardner made an official visit with the Cardinal program over the weekend and verbally committed to play at U of L.
"I committed while I was there," said Gardner. "I liked everything about it. Louisville was going to be my choice before I decided to go to Michigan State."
Having the opportunity to join an explosive offense that often uses the tight end position in the passing game is something that Gardner is looking forward to.
"I love how they use the tight ends," he said. "They get the ball to the tight ends a lot."
As a senior at Henry Clay, Garnder earned All-State and Tremendous 26 honors.
"I've been working out a lot," Gardner said of his time away from the gridiron. "I'm going to a place that helps me with my forty time and stuff like that."
Gardner will join the Cardinals in January.