Gardiner Talks About The Recruiting Process

With Texas A&M set to lose two senior cornerbacks at the end of the season, the coaching staff is still on the trail of at least one top-rated cover corner. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop talks with Port Arthur Memorial defensive back Desmond Gardiner about the recruiting process and where A&M stands at the moment

One of the top cover corners in the state of Texas still uncommitted is Port Arthur Memorial defensive back Desmond Gardiner. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound prospect is garnering praise for his play that is also attracting the attention of many college coaches.

"I'm up to about 15 offers or so," Gardiner said. "There's really too many to mention by name and I don't want to leave anybody out because I'm still open to any school that wants me."

So what's the key to Gardiner's value on the football field that is garnering all of his scholarship offers?

"I hustle every play and I'm highly aggressive in coverage," Gardiner said. "But I'm smart about it. I weigh the situation and see who I'm going against. I choose to be smart and physical, and not dumb and physical. The game is 90% mental and 10% physical, and I feel I always have the mental edge over the receiver."

As with many players along the upper Texas coast, Gardiner and his Port Arthur teammates had to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Ike and the cancellation of two games in the schedule. While its difficult to lose part of his senior season, the three-star cornerback is thankful that his family was spared severe damage.

"We had a few things get damaged, but nothing major. We were without power for about four days," Gardiner said. "Right now, the only thing we don't have is satellite. We watch a bunch of movies and I sit around doing homework. It's helped my school, that's one positive from this."

The storm also put a brief halt to the recruiting process, but college coaches are back on his trail calling every night. Gardiner took his first and only official visit a couple of weeks ago to Arizona, but he says he wants to focus on the remainder of his senior season and help the team win.

"I took an official visit to Arizona and it was nice. I liked the student section. They did some crazy chants on first downs and they were into the game," Gardiner said. "But now I've decided to hold off on the process and focus on the season. I'll sit down at the end of the season and figure out the other places I want to visit, but now I don't have a leader."

One school that is on Gardiner's radar is Texas A&M, and he hears regularly from the Aggie coaching staff but not the same coach. The Aggies have caught the eye of the cover corner and he wants to give Texas A&M a serious look when the time is right after the season.

"I hear from A&M all the time, but they have somebody different call me every week," Gardiner said. "They say they need cornerbacks. That's what I like to hear. A&M will probably get an official visit."

While Gardiner is still open and has no stated leaders at this point, he does know what he's looking for in a school and a football program. Make no mistake about that.

"Early playing time is big for me. I don't care where, I just want a chance to play early," Gardiner said. "After that I'll look at the school academics. That's important to me also."

The Titans travel to Baytown this Friday to take on the Baytown Sterling Rangers, fresh off their upset win over cross town rival Baytown Lee.

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