Michigan Football: Why Devin Gardner Should Want to Play WR This Year
The endless debate of where Devin Gardner should play will likely rage on until the first game of the season.
Should he be a full-time receiver? Should he focus on being the backup quarterback? What about both? These are some of the questions that fans are asking as fall practice heats up.
Here's a look at why Gardner should, and likely will, be used as a wide receiver.
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Honestly, is there a good answer to that question? Why shouldn't Gardner play receiver?
Some might say it's an injury risk.
Give me a break; it's better than seeing him sit on the bench all game. A talent like Gardner should not be put to waste, and he basically has been his entire career.
He has the absolute perfect body to play receiver in a Michigan offense, as he stands 6'4". Whether it be grabbing jump balls or using his body to shield defenders, Gardner has all the tools.
So, again: Why shouldn't Gardner play receiver?
The Receiving Core Needs the Help
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Some people think this group of receivers will be fine without Junior Hemingway. But honestly, I think they're a big concern.
I don't know if Roy Roundtree will take that next step and be a No. 1 guy, and I think Jeremy Gallon's ceiling is what we saw of him last year.
Jeremy Jackson is never going to be more than a role player, and I just don't have much confidence in Jerald Robinson possibly emerging.
A bright spot, however, is that Amara Darboh will likely see a lot of time.
Clearly, though, this unit needs help. If Gardner can come in and at least be adequate, it would help a lot.
It would also make Roundtree and Gallon better, as more attention would have to be paid to Gardner, freeing up space for the other receivers.
Roundtree's Knee Surgery
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Will Roundtree's arthroscopic knee surgery affect him in the Alabama game? Obviously, only time will tell. If it does play a factor and he's not 100 percent healthy, that's when the team would really need Gardner.
Imagine a receiving core with a less-than-healthy Roundtree and no Gardner. That obviously would not be good.
He needs to be out there helping this unit out, regardless of the status of Roundtree's knee.
Some People Think Russell Bellomy Should Be the Backup Quarterback
For those who think Bellomy should be the backup quarterback anyway, then it's an easy choice for them on what should happen with Gardner.
A lot of people seem to think that, if needed, Bellomy would lead this offense better than Gardner would anyway.
However, I'm not one of those people, and I think that Gardner should remain as the No. 2 quarterback. With that being said, he can still get plenty of reps at receiver. We've seen it happen before.
As a sophomore at Minnesota, MarQueis Gray had success as a receiver while serving as the backup quarterback. He then stepped in and served as the full-time quarterback in 2011, and now big things are expected of him as a senior in 2012.
There's no reason that Gardner can't do the same thing. While I don't think Bellomy is a bad option, there is no reason Gardner can't be both.
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Devin Gardner can obviously be a dangerous weapon if utilized correctly. The best way is by getting the ball in his hands.
What better way than having him serve as both a receiver and quarterback? We saw many trick plays and packages involving him in 2011, and there's no reason those can't continue.
Now a junior, it would be a shame to see such a talented athlete constantly sitting on the bench.