Michigan Football: Is Devin Gardner a Better Fit at QB or WR?

Austin FoxCorrespondent IINovember 5, 2012

Nov 3, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Michigan Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner (12) looks to pass during the first half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

With Devin Gardner's impressive performance against Minnesota, questions about what position he should be playing immediately began to arise. However, let's just get this out of the way first: Denard Robinson is and will continue to be Michigan's quarterback for the remainder of this season, no questions asked.

Who plays quarterback for Michigan in 2013 is the real question. As of right now, there looks to be three legitimate candidates: Devin Gardner, Russell Bellomy and Shane Morris. Does one have a leg up on the other?

Coming into Saturday's game against Minnesota, I would have said the race is dead even, but after Gardner's performance, it is pretty hard to say that now. He looked so smooth running the offense, almost as if he has been practicing there all fall. But that's just it—he hasn't been.

Imagine how good this kid could be if he dedicates himself to playing quarterback full time and puts his pass-catching days behind him. Well, he just might have to do that. After Bellomy's recent outing against Nebraska, fans' confidence in him winning the starting job next season have plummeted.

With Morris' senior year of high school basically ruined due to mono, it makes you wonder if it may take him a bit longer to earn serious playing time once he arrives at Michigan. With Bellomy and Morris maybe playing behind the eight ball a bit, that leaves only Gardner.

When looking at the big picture, it would actually work out perfectly for Gardner to step in and start at quarterback for Michigan for one season. Bellomy would be able to serve as an adequate backup, and it would also allow Morris to learn the system and take a redshirt year if needed.

Shane would then be able to step in and start in 2014, as a learning year in 2013 would end up paying dividends. If Gardner did put his receiving days behind him, what would become of the receiving corps, though? Well, here's an interesting fact about that unit: Of all the receivers who have played a meaningful snap here in 2012, all but Roundtree return next season.

Losing Roy will hurt a little bit, but not a ton. This receiving corps will be bringing back almost all of its production from this season. Having Gardner part of that group would obviously help, but at the same time, he would help much more playing quarterback.

For the rest of 2012, Devin can continue to play receiver as long as Robinson is starting at quarterback. Gardner has clearly shown that he can do both. Basically serving as the ultimate team player, Gardner's patience looks like it will finally pay off next season, as he will be able to step in and start at quarterback for Team 134.