Devin Speaks

Top signee, and early enrollee, Devin Gardner talks about why he picked Michigan … on negative recruiting he experienced … on Florida ... on Mike Barwis … on the Michigan offense … on classes … and more.

Question: How anxious are you to get up there and compete?

Devin Gardner: "It's indescribable. I think I have a good chance, because I work hard and I'm ready to play."

Question: You were talking about your recruitment a little bit earlier; how close were LSU and Florida to luring you away and a couple of schools that came in and tried…?

Devin Gardner: "LSU, there are too many bugs in Louisiana. I'm sorry I do not like bugs. Florida, it was kind of close, but it was always going to be Michigan. Florida, they pitched good weather and Scott Loeffler had a lot of guys in the NFL. I just wanted to stick with my decision."

Question: What did you like about Michigan from the get go?

Devin Gardner: "Really they expressed to me that I was their top guy. They were the first school to express to me, you are the top guy. Obviously you going to recruit other people because that's the game of college football, but they were telling me that I was their top guy and that they wanted me."

Question: The offense?

Devin Gardner: "Yeah that was a plus."

Question: When did you know that this was it?

Devin Gardner: "It was a while ago. I do not even remember the exact day, but I know it was like at one o'clock in the morning and I called Coach Rod Smith and told him that I wanted to be a Wolverine. I called Coach Carter and woke everybody up, I do not know why. That's the time that it happened."

Question: When you committed to Michigan, did you get negative recruited; did you hear a lot of that because of Michigan's down season?

Devin Gardner: "Oh definitely. Ohio State fans, Facebook, everybody…they telling me some unforgivable things but its okay because they going to have to play me someday. I do not know if that was a good idea (laughter)."

Question: Did it have anything to do with a letter that they saw on Facebook?

Devin Gardner: "I do not know about that."

Question: Can you talk just about the experience in general and what it has been like since you got here.

Devin Gardner: "It has been unremarkable. I come in…everybody here probably knows who I am, but they do not really know what I look like, so it is a little different. I had a name tag and somebody stole it. Nobody knows my roommate, so I'm actually kind of cool. I go to class and nobody really bothers me that much."

Question: But your roommate.

Devin Gardner: "Right."

Question: You came in about a week after all the other guys did that make it a little harder to get caught up?

Devin Gardner: "It was hard for about the first week, but I work so hard that first week that I caught up right away. The first week was a little rough but after that…it's regular now."

Question: Have you had a lot of time with Mike Barwis yet?

Devin Gardner: "No. We just talk a lot. He's a funny guy. I love Mike Barwis. He's going to make me work hard and I like that."

Question: What kind of stuff do they have you doing in the weight room right now?

Devin Gardner: "I haven't started, I'll probably start tomorrow."

Question: Obviously Michigan's record did not scare you away, how come?

Devin Gardner: "Because you know obviously they come from a conservative offense and you try to move to the spread, obviously it is going to be a rough time getting the whole offense implemented. We had a freshman quarterback and everything. It was a lot of factors that went into why the season wasn't that great, but Michigan is going to be back. That's really it."

Question: Can you talk about playing in an offense like this.

Devin Gardner: "It's great. The quarterback has so much power. When you get the ball, it is a read-option, things like that. You determine who gets the football. In most offenses, the quarterback determines who gets the football in the passing game but in this offense in the running game you get to determine who gets the ball and you just have to make smart decisions."

Question: How is the offense compared to what you run in high school?

Devin Gardner: "It's the exact same. It's virtually identical."

Question: Do you feel that gives you a little bit of a head start I guess?

Devin Gardner: "Definitely. Because I looked at the playbook and all our plays are basically in Michigan's playbook. I do not know if that was the design or what, but all the plays are in there. I just got to learn the names and terminology."

Question: How are excited are you to get out there for spring practice and put the pads on for the first time?

Devin Gardner: "I can't wait because I got a taste of the competitiveness in the All-American Game. So I can't wait to play some college football."

Question: Now that you're here in the early enrollment, what are these extra 15 practices going to raise your expectations for your goals this season?

Devin Gardner: "It just puts more pressure on me for myself. I'm here early now, so there is no excuse as to why I shouldn't be able to play on the football field here."

Question: So you expect to play this fall?

Devin Gardner: "I do not know if I'm going to start. I just feel like I have no choice but to play."

Question: What has been a harder adjustment for you off the field or I was going to say on the field and workouts, but you said you haven't done a lot of that.

Devin Gardner: "It really hasn't been that tough because I'm pretty smart. I got accustomed to the college workload quicker than I expected. A lot of people they scare you away from college saying that it will be the toughest thing you every do, but I'm doing pretty good."

Question: What has been your hardest class so far?

Devin Gardner: "It's called education 118. It's pretty tough, but I'm doing well in it though."

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