Ohio State Offers Gardiner Grayshirt

Dublin (Ohio) Coffman star linebacker Steve Gardiner was offered a grayshirt opportunity by Ohio State. Gardiner was given the offer by Buckeye assistant coach Luke Fickell. Bill Greene has more on the Gardiner story.

Dublin Coffman star Steve Gardiner has been given the opportunity to come to Ohio State as a grayshirt in the class of 2009. Gardiner, an All-Ohio linebacker, would enroll in January of 2009 should he choose to accept the Buckeye offer. Gardiner has scholarship offers from Northwestern, West Virginia and Pitt, among others.

"Coach [Luke] Fickell was in my home two nights ago and made the offer," Gardiner explained. "I think it's pretty exciting. It's not the typical offer, but eventually it would be what I'm looking for. He said they're searching for more defensive linemen and offensive linemen, so I understand the the position Ohio State is in with numbers. That's why they want me to come in with the 2009 class right now. They want me as an outside linebacker."

Gardiner said the Buckeyes could still include him in the class of 2008 if they fall short of some of their recruiting targets.

"They said I could still be in this class, but more likely I would be coming to Ohio State in January of 2009, if I take their offer," Gardiner continued. "It depends on them landing some of the other recruits they're after. I have to decide in the next few weeks what I want to do. West Virginia and Pitt have been in my house and I visited Northwestern last week. I need time to sit down and think about how the Ohio State offer compares to the other schools that have offered me."

Gardiner has been guaranteed that he will be on full scholarship on January of 2009 if he accepts the Ohio State offer. This situation is similar to the recruiting of Todd Boeckman by Ohio State a few years ago.

"It would be like I graduated early, starting in January of 2009," Gardiner said. "That's what [teammates] Jake Stoneburner and Mike Adams are doing this winter. Ohio State told me I would definitely be on full scholarship next January. I would be counted in the 2009 class. I plan on making my decision after the holidays. I'm playing basketball so I don't have a lot of time to take visits. I will be going somewhere on January 11th because my schedule works out fine then. If things don't go the way Ohio State expects, then they would want me to sign in February with the current class."

Steve Gardiner led Dublin Coffman to the state semifinals before losing to eventual champion Cincinnati St. Xavier. Gardiner was a tackling machine all season long for Coffman. Scout.com will continue to monitor this situation.

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