"I've talked with coach Fickell a lot," Gardiner revealed. "He hasn't really told me where I fit in and obviously they haven't offered yet. I'll be at camp on June 10TH for the first senior camp. I'll just do my best and see what happens after that. Coach Fickell said that we'll talk after the day ends, but I really don't know what to expect. I've been talking with him a lot lately and I'm definitely hoping for an offer. They would immediately go to the top of my list."
Gardiner, 6" 1" and 205 pounds, carries a 3.5 GPA and scored 23 on the ACT. He has 8 scholarship offers, including Syracuse, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Indiana, Pitt and Oklahoma State. He does claim to have a slight favorite at this time.
"I haven't been to too many of the schools that have offered, but I'd say West Virginia," Gardiner said. "They were just a few plays away from playing for the national championship last year. I was down there for the spring game and really enjoyed it. The facilities were good and the coaches seemed really nice. They're recruiting me as a combination linebacker/strong safety. Most schools are recruiting me as an outside linebacker. I think West Virginia is a great program."
Gardiner is also high on a few other colleges that have offered him.
"Cincinnati is real nice," he noted. "I was there earlier this year and liked it a lot. Their facilities were real nice. Since I visited there they haven't really been back in touch much and I haven't been back down there since."
"Oklahoma State offered me based on game film," he continued. "Coach [Tim] Beckman was recruiting me a little bit when he was at Ohio State. Since going to Oklahoma State he has continued recruiting me. I'm definitely interested and I hope to visit there this summer. It's a big-time football program."
"Pitt has been my most recent offer," he said. "They have been to my school a couple times and they seemed real interested but coach [Dave] Wannstedt hadn't seen my film. Once he got a chance to see it they went ahead and offered me by phone last week."
Gardiner had an outstanding performance at the Scout.com combine in Pittsburgh where he was named to the all-combine team. He showed great speed in posting a 4.44 forty-yard dash time. He runs track at Dublin Coffman where he put up an 11.1 hundred-meter time. He believes his speed is what college recruiters like best about his game.
"I think my speed is what stands out," Gardiner explained. "I also play running back and Nebraska is recruiting me as a fullback. I think I have the ability to get to the football on defense. I'm working out now in trying to build strength in my lower body. I want to get a lot stronger before next season."
Gardiner has an ambitious camp schedule planned for this summer.
"Other than Ohio State, I'll be going to Northwestern and Michigan State in the next week or so," Gardiner said. "I'm also going to West Virginia's camp to learn more about the coaching staff. I plan on taking a lot of one-day trips throughout the summer too. I might be going to visit Nebraska and Purdue also. I'll be planning more as soon as these first few camps are over. I'll try to get to as many as I can to show what I can do."