Good for Tate/Denard, Bad for Gardner?

Submitted by stubob on September 8th, 2009 at 11:08 AM

I know it's early to start speculating about next year, but does a good year from Tate and/or Denard affect Gardner's recruiting? He'd be coming in for most likely a red-shirt, then sit for another year or two before finally getting to the field. Does he start to look around for a place to start as a freshman (Big 12 will have lots of openings, FLA, etc.), or go and try to beat out an established QB at Michigan?



September 8th, 2009 at 11:11 AM ^

Well, if you believe Sparty homers, Valenti has been quoted on-air as saying that Gardner is going to head elsewhere because M is going to try to redshirt him, citing Jevan Snead as an example.


September 8th, 2009 at 1:00 PM ^

That is very Sparty-like reasoning - he was committed when the team was terrible and we looked incapable of running RR's offense, but now that it appears that the system provides a great opportunity to showcase dual threat talent, he will be scared off? Shouldn't the fact that two six-foot-nothing QBs can operate successfully in RR's offense be a selling point for someone whose talents are tailor-made for such an offense?

Is he busy seeking out a team that will go 3-9 this year, with only walk-ons returning at QB, that is expected to be a championship-caliber team in the next 4 years? How many such teams are there?

If DG possesses the same confidence and willingnesss to compete that Tate has shown, his upside in RR's offense is practically limitless.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:12 AM ^

But if you want to, and DG does redshirt - which would really benefit him - then he would get the keys to the car for 2 years, plus he could step in after the redshirt and see minutes based on injuries or talent. Regardless, this offense is tailor-made for DG's skill set.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:13 AM ^

Don't count out Gardner. Yes, Tate or Denard could be very good, but Gardner's one of those players whose potential is limitless. He has the ability to be the next Vince Young. Whether he will be or not is up to him, but this is not the case for Denard or Tate. Both quarterbacks can do really well, but they are very limited by their size. Each can excel at one facet of the game or the other, but neither can be dominant in both. Gardner can be. His potential is so much greater and he will be able to come in and compete from the beginning. If he doesn't win out, he doesn't win out, but he'll still get at least 2 years to start for Michigan.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:45 AM ^

However, I have several questions.

1) Michigan fans tend to rate HS players they see in Michigan much higher than those elsewhere. (see Grady the elder as exhibit A.) I know that Gardner did well in the elite 11 qb thing. But is the evidence pretty indisputable that Gardner is elite nationally? If we are getting a player from elsewhere, they often are rated about right. But we have definitely had a few busts from in-state.

2) Are his measurables very clear? We know DR has speed, and not just because everyone says so . . . the Florida track meets demonstrated the same thing? Are Gardner's height weight, 40, other measurables, very clear and verifiable?

3) What about intangibles? IIRC, Tom Brady didn't have the best measurables, but he has the intangible "it factor" that marks a winner. Vince Young was a great college player, but was suspect on some of these intangibles. I guess it gives me pause that Inkster lost to Pioneer a week or so ago. IIRC, in the liveblog, Brian said that Pioneer would get blown out. Instead, they buckled down and won. Partly, this is about Pioneer. But I wonder if Gardner was at fault at all in the loss.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:00 PM ^

If Vince Young was "suspect on some of these intangibles," doesn't that mean that these intangibles of which you speak don't matter, at least on the college level? Vince Young was a far better college* football player than Tom Brady.

*Yes, I know all about Tom Brady's unrivaled awesomeness in the NFL, and am madly in love with him. Seriously.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:03 PM ^

1) He is not just being rated highly by Michiganders. He has shot up the boards of the recruiting services and is ranked the #1 qb by either Scout or Rivals (I can't remember which one right now).

2) It's hard to put too much stock in measurables until you see him play against other college athletes, but regardless of any fake 40 times, he is tall, well built, and certainly looks faster than any other player on the field at the same time as him.

3) As for the intangibles, tough to say that he has them, but it is certainly not his fault that Inkster has lost their first two games...the defense on that team is unbelievably bad. They gave up 50+ the week after they lost to Pioneer. Even if he is the best player on the field, it's hard to singlehandedly beat another team when the D is giving up that much.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:16 PM ^

Why would we rate someone about right being out of state and instate guys higher? You can point out elder grady who was a 5* and I can point out Max Martin who was OMG AWESOME the class before as a high 4* from Alabama.

You state in your first paragraph that Gardner did well in that "elite 11 thingy". It's the #1 camp for qb's in the nation. HOW DOES THAT NOT COMPARE HIM TO OTHER QB'S ACROSS THE NATION?

Your last sentence in the most ignorant I've seen on these boards. How can you find fault in a guy who puts up over 200 yards passing and 100 yards running every game and then come on here and say "well maybe it was his fault that they lost"

There is so much wrong with your post that I'm done with it.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:21 PM ^

He deserves some blame for the losses. He took some big hits against Pioneer that he probably could have avoided; he missed some time in that game and was woozy for a bit.

Against East Kentwood he fumbled on the goal line.

He's Inkster's best player and puts up very good numbers, but that doesn't mean he's blame-free for the losses.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:59 PM ^

In reference to rating in-state vs out-of-state recruits, I think the tendency is to rate those you see yourself more highly than those elsewhere. Generally, great athletes shine against high school competition. However, I'm not an expert, nor a statistician. I'd be interested in seeing if there is an correlation between the predicted and actual performance of in-state and out-of-state recruits at Michigan, but don't know if this has been done.

The elite 11 camp seems to me to be the best metric out there, and the reason I would look most highly at Gardner.

The last sentence of my first post was "But I wonder if Gardner was at fault at all in the loss." Obviously, the loss isn't his fault alone, if at all. I'm simply asking the question. Brian was the one at the Pioneer game who thought Inkster would dominate. And I think I also saw that they were extremely highly ranked at the beginning of the season. Usually, you think of the QB as the leader of the team, and the QB takes the lion's share of the credit (or the blame) for success (or failure.) I haven't seen the games, know nothing of the second game, so this is an honest question. If I read you correctly, you are saying that it is ignorant to find any fault with Gardner in Inkster's first two losses. I would gather, then, with such a strong QB, that Inkster must be pretty weak elsewhere, and that the prognosticators were altogether off-base in their inital assessment of Inkster's team.

The last factor has to do with Gardner being a Freshman, and knowing and learning the playbook and the offense. Virtually all Freshman are at a disadvantage, no matter how gifted. Forcier was extremely fortunate in that he came in at just the right time. When Threet transferred, and Sheridan went down, this meant that Forcier automatically got almost all the snaps with the first team in Spring Ball. Even with early enrollment for Gardner, he will be sharing time with Forcier and Robinson. I don't doubt he has great talent, but I don't see Forcier or Robinson laying down and handing the job to Gardner. As the OP said, he is going to have to work very hard to usurp an established QB, moreso two established QBs, even moreso two successful QBs. Forcier in particular will know the offense, will have timing and a relationship established with receivers and RB's. Because of this, I believe that short of an injury, it will be very difficult for Gardner to dislodge Forcier.

One other thing about intangibles: I am watching Pryor at OSU closely. He is so very highly rated, but I'm not sure that we aren't better off with Forcier, Robinson, and eventually, with Gardner. we may end up liking Forcier's intangibles better in the long run.


September 11th, 2009 at 1:52 AM ^

Pretty sure it's not just a Michigan love-fest. As for his "measurables" and "intangibles", I am sure the Michigan coaching staff does what they can on all potential recruits to measure this stuff before giving out offers, but from the interviews I've seen and everything I've read he is as solid as any kid we have ever recruited out of HS. If you know something specific that suggests otherwise, please let us know.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:13 AM ^

the success of Tate or Denard will effect Gardner's decision. I think a better year for U of M will help our overall recruiting efforts. Also, even if the two freshman quarterbacks do well, Gardner is only one year behind them. If he is as good as everyone thinks he is, than he will catch up and compete for the starting spot eventually. I just doubt he will look elsewhere, but you never know.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:14 AM ^

I hope not. If anything, he should take the fact that we're using multiple QBs as hope that he'll get in the mix to some capacity.

I think people forget about the days of Henson, Brady, Griese etc. You don't always start as a freshman or sophomore. Competition will prove to be a good thing for Gardner and if he wins the starting job, he will have truly earned it.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:16 AM ^

I know recruits change their mind all of the time but consider this:…

I talked with Gardner a few weeks ago, and he said Michigan fans don’t have to worry about his commitment no matter how freshmen quarterbacks Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson perform this year.

“I’m going to have to compete regardless,” Gardner said. “If he does well that just makes for more competition.”


September 8th, 2009 at 11:20 AM ^

His top teams were OSU and michigan. Dropped OSU and burned there letter , he then came to Michigan.

I got some insider on Devin. I know his coach he grew up playing with, league in detroit. Devin believes he is going to start over Tate/Denard. If he doesn't win it, he knows he will get redshirted, he's not happy with it. But his day will come. Not starting as a frosh can only help. I don't think he will get redshirted.

I think we will have 3 qbs next yr. Tate getting 70% of snaps, Denard 10%, Devin 20%. I think Denard will be QB/Slot/RB next yr.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:23 AM ^

The fact that some people obsess over recruiting to the point that, while watching two true-freshmen carve up a solid opponent, they stress about the impact on recruiting one specfific just makes me sad.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:24 AM ^

Like many I thought the same thing and it could happen. Starting as a true freshman could now start to seem the norm and the top recruits will want it. However, if he redshirts and targets his year 4-5 as starter, that puts him more on that USC-Carroll style NFL quarterback assembly line plan. Every one of them now ends up as a relatively high draft pick regardless of whether they eventually pan out. Can't say how someone like Gardner will see it but you can count on a load of negative recruiting coming his way.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:27 AM ^

FWIW, Sam Webb has said that Gardner has told him that he doesn't mind redshirting...I think we have a long way to go before saying that he can't beat out Forcier/Robinson anyway.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:38 PM ^

Why is someone negging MGoObes for being concise? If it was for redshirting DG, I also agree it would be a good thing. Not many freshman QBs are ready to step in and play like Tate. He would have time to work on his mechanics and learn the playbook.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:41 PM ^

People don't like it when you're blunt. They prefer to be lulled to sleep by qualifications like "I could be wrong..." or "In my opinion..." or "No offense but..."

When you cut straight to the point, it ruffles people's feathers.

OMG Shirtless

September 8th, 2009 at 12:48 PM ^

But there were comments in other threads complaining about MGoObes mysterious way of making a comment without actually saying anything at all. Posters compared it to the GBMW way of making a prediction that is not really a prediction at all, but a way of covering your ass either way.


Q: Has anyone heard that recruit Joe Whatshisname will only play CB?

Sample MGoObes Answer:

I wouldn't say that.

Again these are not my complaints, just trying to provide you with some of the reasoning I've seen expressed before.


September 8th, 2009 at 1:05 PM ^

People are just too happy with this plus/minus thing. You give someone a little power and they think they're the boss. I think the original intent was to use it when someone makes a good point or is just trollin around, not because you agree/disagree with their point.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:30 AM ^

I see a position switch of sorts in Denard's future. He can still play QB, he's too good not to have on the field at some combination of QB/RB/WR/KR.

Like Slash in his early days with the Steelers.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:11 PM ^

What is he supposed to say?

"This kid can't play QB at this level. Are you kidding me? We just have him there so we won't have to put Nick Sheridan on the field."

Denard Robinson will be a quarterback at Michigan until he's not. The kid couldn't handle his first snap and threw every pass 400 mph. I don't think Devin Gardner is scared of Denard Robinson.

Captain Obvious

September 8th, 2009 at 12:25 PM ^

he didn't have a problem saying that Feagin wasn't ready and moving him to the slot during his freshmen year.

I know RR is a coach and I won't pretend that he doesn't engage in some coachspeak - but he seems to do it a lot less than other coaches (aside from using standard coach-phrases like execute 100 times/minute). He tells it like it is more often than not. If he really didn't want DR at QB he would have either not put him on the field (a la Feagin), moved his position early (the fact that he didn't after being apparently satisfied with Sheridan's progress says a lot), or noted in a presser that he's not quite there yet mentally or whatever.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:39 PM ^

Last year was different. First of all, Feagin was a slot receiver practically from Day 1.

Also, Rodriguez had Sheridan and Threet last year, presumably for 3 or 4 years. Since he started Sheridan in the first game, he probably wasn't completely convinced that Sheridan = Death. That's no longer the case. He realizes that Sheridan can't really play on this level, but since Sheridan = Death, Rodriguez has to keep Robinson at QB. Therefore, regardless of performance, he has to support Robinson's ability at QB or he's forced to say "Uhhhh...we have NO ONE behind Forcier."

Anyway, that's probably overthinking it. I just think it's slightly different than the Feagin situation in 2008.

Captain Obvious

September 8th, 2009 at 12:57 PM ^

a bit too much to make unknowns fit your opinions here. From all the evidence we have, RR has been higher on Sheridan than anyone expected prior to the opener (see: all pressers and controversy surrounding the 3 QBs meme). I agree, some of this was probably coachspeak to garner more competition, but we can't say this definitively since Sheridan DID come in the game before mop-up duty. Also, it would have been just as easy (and less controversial, since people aren't too happy about last year) for RR to hype up his 2 frosh QBs as his 2 options and downplay Sheridan's possibilities to play.

You are speaking way too authoritatively given that you are ignoring RR's actual words and actions and relying on inference/unspoken agendas instead.


September 8th, 2009 at 1:18 PM ^

Sheridan didn't come in before mop-up duty. He came in when the game was already in hand. On top of that, he entered the game because Forcier had some sort of equipment malfunction or minor injury.

Anyway, Denard is a quarterback (right now). He will stay there (for now). But you can't honestly expect that he means "Denard is quarterback for now and forever more." Denard WILL move to another position if Forcier clearly wins the starting position and they can get sufficient depth at the quarterback spot (i.e. Gardner and Jones and maybe another guy or two in 2011). Rodriguez isn't going to play two quarterbacks in 2010 and 2011 and 2012 if he can help it, and he's not going to let Robinson's eligibility run out because Forcier gets a stranglehold on the job. Robinson needs to be on the field somewhere, but that doesn't necessarily mean behind center.


September 8th, 2009 at 11:31 AM ^

Last year completely skewed our perceptions of playing time with regard to class standing. Players are supposed to sit for a year or two while they learn and grow.

Think USC. Yes they are starting a Frosh as QB, but if Sanchez stays or Corp doesn't get hurt, he's still riding the bench.

Top programs recruit top talent every year, and players can't expect to have the keys handed to them the day they show up on campus.

DG will get every chance to compete, but I hope he sits at least 1, and even better, 2 years.