Sam Gardner shares a few things in common with the top tight ends on Nebraska's wish list for this recruiting cycle. He's got excellent size at 6' 6" and weighing in at 255 pounds, decent speed with a 4.8 40 yard dash and some physicality to his nature having spent some time at outside linebacker for his Henry Clay High School team in Lexington, Kentucky. Gardner had 25 receptions as a junior for 337 yards and 3 touchdowns which netted him First-Team All-City, All-Region and All-District honors.
He currently has offers from Michigan State, Louisville, Kentucky and Oklahoma and is receiving strong interest from Nebraska, Clemson, Michigan and Notre Dame. He lists his current favorites as Louisville and Michigan State while citing his strengths as not only his ability to catch, but to block effectively along with giving 100% on every play and going to the whistle.
It appears that Nebraska will be going up against the Louisville Cardinals for a few prospects this year, Sam included and it appears at this juncture that the Cardinals are the ones hitting him the hardest. "They send me handwritten letters every day. They've already used their call for the month. They came up to visit my school a couple times and talk to my coach," said Gardner. Still, for Cornhusker fans there is reason to be hopeful regarding Sam. "They're pretty high, they send me a couple letters every week and they called me the other day," said Gardner. While he doesn't currently have an offer from NU, Gardner feels one may be coming. "They haven't said anything about it but I think they might (offer)," he said.
Gardner mentioned that the correspondence between him and NU has been decent. Some letters are handwritten where the Cornhuskers alert him to the fact that they need tight ends and he is one of their top prospects at the position. When it comes to big factors in Sam's recruitment, a school is not only going to have to get things done academically, he's looking for a school that will push him athletically 24/7/365. "I'd have to say (I'm looking at) the education because that's the most important part. Also the coaching staff, the players and how hard they work. I want to see if they're coaching their players hard, keeping them working," said Gardner.
Sam already is planning to visit Louisville and Michigan State unofficially with Oklahoma up in the air. He said that Nebraska is still in it for an unofficial visit at this point, as well. Gardner has recently been visited in the month of May by schools such as Louisville, Michigan, Kentucky, Miami (OH), Toledo and Delaware.