Devin Gardner can't fail in 2013, because backup quarterback Russell Bellomy won't be available for the Michigan football program if he does.
Bellomy recently tore his ACL according to the team's official Twitter page, and he's out indefinitely:
As if there wasn't already enough pressure on Gardner to succeed this upcoming season...
Gardner will either thrive or wilt, but if he does wilt, Michigan will have to turn to true freshman Shane Morris, who isn't quite ready for prime time.
Morris is part of the team's plans for the 2013 season, but it'd be better for everyone involved if he can spend one year on the sidelines.
Gardner certainly has what it takes to have a big year for the Wolverines.
Last year he started Michigan's final five games in place of Denard Robinson, who suffered an injury to his ulnar nerve. In those five games, he showed promise, averaging 244 yards, 2.2 touchdowns and one interception per contest.
There is still much room for improvement, however, as Gardner finished the season with a completion percentage of 59.5, and the fact that he threw an interception in each of his starts is concerning.
Gardner has the physical tools to become a phenomenal college quarterback. If Michigan is going to win many games this season, he'll need to be at the top of his game and cut down on his mistakes.
Gardner isn't as athletically gifted as Robinson, who was one of the nation's top running quarterbacks. He'll spend more time in the pocket and will need to be sharp and consistent throughout the season.
The pressure on this young man to succeed was already intense before Bellomy's injury, and now it's exponentially more so.
Michigan's 2013 campaign hinges on Gardner's ability to come through this test with flying colors, and it'll be interesting to see how things play out through the summer and into the beginning of the upcoming season.
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