Cameron Gardner admits he doesn’t like aerial views – explaining why the Orange (Calif.) Orange Lutheran wide receiver/defensive back chose traveling through Interstate 5 for more than six hours over getting a plane ticket to participate in the Nike Opening Oakland Regional on May 21.
And the 2019 prospect, plus former Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei Monarch, came out of the regional as one of the top underclassman performers by Scout.
“I don’t like flying as much, so the drive wasn’t too bad for me. I’m just excited to be up here,” Gardner said.
During his sophomore season at Mater Dei, which was also his final season in the red and white, Gardner showed explosive acceleration against secondaries and developed a knack for getting open in a span of two to three seconds. He went on to average 14.4 yards per catch while playing in a wide-open offense spearheaded by fellow 2019 prospect J.T. Daniels. He went on to show that same dynamite burst in one-on-one drills against the top prospects from the Northern region at the Richmond (Calif.) De Anza High turf.
Now, Gardner has jumped ship to Mater Dei’s Trinity League rival – and tells Scout that transition has gone smoothly.
“It’s great," Gardner said. "I love playing under coach J.P. Presly plus our quarterback Ryan Hilinski is great as well. I can’t wait to get our chemistry and timing down, plus get this thing rolling."
One benefit Gardner has witness in his transition to OLU is receiving this assist from his new quarterback: When college football coaches visit Hillinski, he also gets them to check out Gardner too.
“He’s helping bring college coaches to OLU. So it’s my chance to go out show my talents to these college coaches,” Gardner said.
The 3.6 student said Fresno State State – under the Tim DeRuyter regime – once bombarded him with mail during his freshman season. While he’s heard silence from the Bulldogs under Jeff Tedford since then, Gardner said Washington, Cornell and Harvard are three schools making a strong early push for him.
However, he hasn’t ruled out suiting up for Tedford, as Gardner said he cheered on his California teams when Tedford presided over the Golden Bears from 2002-2012.
“Coach Tedford is a great coach and for sure, they (Fresno State) would be a top school for me,” Gardner said.