Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 7/27/13
For Devin Gardner it is the best of times, for the city of Detroit it is the worst of times. Devin Gardner previously played wide receiver for the Michigan Wolverines and he’ll play his redshirt junior season in Ann Arbor. During the fall of 2009, he was rated as the No. 1 dual-threat high school quarterback in the United States by Rivals and the No. 5 quarterback by ESPNU. After switching from quarterback to wide receiver at Michigan at the beginning of the 2012 season, Gardner switched back and took over for starting quarterback Denard Robinson after the latter injured his elbow. This year, the most high profile position in sports; at possibly the second most high profile college football program (Notre Dame is #1). The spotlight is on Detroit product Devin Gardner. Gardner was a huge prep star at Detroit Jesuit High School. These are quite lean and mean times for the city of Detroit. Detroit became the biggest American city to ever file for bankruptcy after its emergency manager filed for Chapter 9 protection on Thursday, with more than $18 billion in debt, according to Michigan’s governor. In the 1950s, when Detroit was it’s peak, over 2,000,000 people lived there. Today, less than 700,000. The entire city of Paris could fit inside all of its vacant buildings. It has 78,000 abandoned buildings. Once America’s 4th largest city, today more than half the traffic lights don’t even work “I don’t know too much about politics or things like that but I’m very proud of where I’m from. I’m from Detroit, the inner city,” Gardner said during his exclusive with me at Big Ten Media Day. “I’m happy to be successful the way that I’m being. There are issues right now, I’m pretty sure we’ll bounce back from that,” he said. Michigan football means a lot to the Detroit area. The Wolverines are like another professional team. Located just 40 minutes away from downtown, and with the largest seating capacity in the entire United States, Michigan football is a big part of Motor City culture. Devin Gardner is the face of that college football program. He started his second game at quarterback last year against Northwestern. Gardner led the team to a fourth quarter comeback and a 38-31 overtime victory. He ran for 47 yards and two touchdowns and completed 16 of 29 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns. With two second remaining in the game, Roy Roundtree caught a 53-yard pass from Gardner to set up a game-tying field goal. Gardner scored the winning touchdown in overtime on a one-yard run. “You’re really being watched and you’re held to a higher standard than anyone else,” Gardner said about being QB1 in Ann Arbor. In the final home game last season, Gardner accounted for a career high six touchdowns in a 42-17 victory over Iowa. Devin Gardner completed 18 of 23 passes for a career high 314 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 37 yards and scored three touchdowns. Devin Gardner became just the second quarterback in Michigan history to account for six touchdowns in a game, Steve Smith having accomplished the feat twice in 1981 and in 1983. And that’s saying something since Michigan has been playing football since the 1870s. Gardner’s 314 passing yards against the Hawkeyes ranks 16th all-time in Michigan’s record book for a single game. “You’re tough, you’re good at school, you do what you’re supposed to do. You don’t make dumb mistakes,” Devin Gardner said of what it means to be a “Michigan Man.” Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate. He is also an analyst for 95.7 The Fan, and writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks), like him on Facebook The post Wolverines QB Devin Gardner still proud of Detroit roots appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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