Snowflake: would Gardner take a number change to the infamous "1"?

Submitted by StephenRKass on September 18th, 2012 at 11:07 AM

It has become obvious that Gardner has mad skills as a receiver, and is only going to get better, as he gets used to running routes and has more practice with Denard.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if Gardner has an outstanding season as a receiver. He already has a good start. Would or could Devin be offered roster number "1" next year? More than that, would Devin even consider accepting "1," because that implies a tacit acceptance of a permanent move to WR.

Gardner has made clear that he is a quarterback first and foremost, and that he is receiving this year in order to help the team, and in order to get on the field now. All well and good. But based on the current season, and also the next Spring Practice (and how he does at QB at that time as compared to Bellomy,) I could envision Gardner being "strongly encouraged" to continue as receiver in 2013.

Obviously, this is all premature speculation. Which is what the internet does so well.



September 18th, 2012 at 11:28 AM ^

I don't think Devin Gardner deserves the #1 jersey now. We don't know how the season will go. And Gardner clearly still has to work on his routes and his timing. My question was more based on potential:  I could see him doing very well this year, and POSSIBLY (not definitely) being someone Braylon / Hoke / Borges would consider for number 1 NEXT year. Normally, if that was the case, the jersey change would make sense. In Devin Gardner's case, it really depends on whether or not he returns to QB after Denard is gone. Which we won't know until at least the Spring, and possibly not until August next year.


September 18th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^

I actually like this one.  Sure he may be raw, but how do we know when someone is good enough to wear it?  It is ultimately a matter of opinion.  Gardner has stuck it out behind Denard, switched positions to help the team, and is good at his new position.  He has also not gotten into any sort of trouble or drama.  


September 18th, 2012 at 11:22 AM ^

If Funchess is everything we hope him to be after 3 games this year, can they give it to Funchess starting next year for him to wear the next 3 years?  Or is it reserved for WRs only?

I think I'd still prefer to see DG return to QB next year (or the next 2 years, did he ever get that redshirt?) especially if we can bring another elite WR on campus with next year's recruiting.



September 18th, 2012 at 11:22 AM ^

I think he has all the tools to do it. He's got great size, above average speed, and good hands.  If he wants to play in the NFL, my money is on he'd do it as a WR. That being said, I think a part of that depends on him. If he goes to the coaches after the season, and says "Coach, I'm going to commit to being a WR and work my tail off this off-season to get to the next level, I want that #1 jersey." I think he's got a good shot.

Perkis-Size Me

September 18th, 2012 at 11:27 AM ^

yeah considering the competition he's played against, i'd hold off on giving him the 1 jersey for now.

i'd also tell you that he has every intention of returning to qb next year, and unless he goes megatron on everyone's ass, that's what i'd want, too. i'd like him to prove me wrong, but i don't think bellomy is anything more than a career backup, and i don't want shane taking the reins as a true freshman. depending on bellomy's progression, i think the qb job next year is gardner's to lose.


September 18th, 2012 at 11:29 AM ^

The coaches will give Devin every opportunity to win the starting QB job next year, and Devin has repeatedly stated his dream was to be the starting QB at Michigan.  I think this is something we just need to wait and see on; if he wins the QB battle next year, that means he is our best option at QB and that's where we'll need him to play.  I agree that he projects best as a WR in the NFL, and that may be where he ends up at the next level, but plenty of guys have made the switch once entering the pros.  Let him try and win the QB job before we make any decisions.  If he doesn't win the QB job, but has put up incredible numbers at WR this year and improves tremendously on his route running and other areas he is still raw at, then let that be a discussion between Mr. #1 Endowment B.Edwards and the coaching staff.

turd ferguson

September 18th, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

Word.  I'm a little terrified about how much we're going to talk about this question beginning five minutes after our 2012 season ends.  We'll be officially Denard-less at that point and staring at nine months of no football with scary, unanswered questions at QB (one QB who might be a WR, one low-rated QB who hasn't seen much action, and no QB in the class of 2012).

The best-case scenario is that Bellomy looks great, Shane looks like he can be a solid back-up option, and Devin becomes #1 worthy at wide receiver.  The next-best scenario is probably that Devin looks great at QB and we figure out the WR situation from there.


September 18th, 2012 at 11:31 AM ^

Does anyone else get the feeling, the way all this business with the special jersey numbers is going, that we're setting ourselves up for about a half dozen little mini Madden curses?

NOLA Wolverine

September 18th, 2012 at 11:34 AM ^

So Devin Gardner is taking over for BWC as the man of infinite potential? He's only made plays against Air Force and UMass (unless you want to credit him for an Alabama DB falling down on his own), and was pretty much a non-factor against Alabama. I even remember one play specifically where he stopped running his route on a corner route causing a well placed ball by Denard to end up incomplete. He's got a ways to go. 


September 18th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

 I'll put it out there like this. I'm going to own up to the fact I was on team Devin at QB last year when Denard struggled with turnovers.

  I didn't see nearly as much improvement as I thought I would from year to year from Devin at the QB  position. Juniour QB Devin looks exactly like sophmore devin and freshman Devin. He's a great kid and I just want him to succede! I just don't think QB is his best position. The one thing I like about Devin over bellamy as a QB is the fact Devin is not scared to throw deep and the RS freshman version of Bellamy seems happy to be a check down king.

 I hope it works out to where Morris can RS next year



September 18th, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

I have no issue with Stephen R's post but I do wonder if other programs are as fixated on the player's numbers as we seem to be this year.  What with the magical numbers 1 & 2 and all they denote and now are retired....ooops.....sorry unretired numbers being given to players to signify the unretiringness of them it sure seems like a BIG deal around these parts.

Until this year I never thought much about numbers other than to say "who's number <fill in the blank> anyways" at the end of blowouts or when somebody got hurt.  Now it's something I guess I need to start paying attention to!


September 18th, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

It's been a long time since we had a number 1. The fact is that honestly we haven't had a receiver deserve the honor of the number. The number 1 is a playmaker and a leader , we've had leaders but, no playmakers. Even if we did have an awesome playmaking receiver we have lacked a QB who could consistantly get them the ball. Granted a great receiver would make Denard look like a better passer


September 18th, 2012 at 11:55 AM ^

I think this shows that we are less about worshipping our former players and more about honoring their accomplishments by letting players who are worthy in their own right create their own U of M legend with a little motivation from what's on their back.  As we've seen with other schools (expecially when it comes to coaches), it's the fan worship of athletes in the many forms that comes in that should be seen as a concern, not out current obsession with seeing what kid will best honor the on and off the field exploits of the players who came before them.


September 18th, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

Mgrowold, where is your avatar? It renders your signature line meaningless. Go back to the block M bikini pic.

I also am on the fence about the whole thing with numbers. Retiring numbers, unretiring them, endowing them, legending them, restricting them in other ways  . . . I'm just not sure about where this is going. I'm holding judgement for a year or three to see how this plays out.

However, #1 is in a different category than "legends" numbers. To some degree, I think that #1 has become a monster and a problem. The kerfuffle between RR & Braylon didn't help. The longer you go without giving it out, the more of a problem you have with giving it out to someone else. I kind of wish that Mario had received the number. While he wasn't pure as the driven snow, neither were all those who have worn it.

Regarding Gardner, I reluctantly agree that he needs to be a QB next year, whether he starts or not. I can live (barely) with 3 on the depth chart, but not with two, and one of the two being a freshman. Imhe, freshmen QB's are ALMOST always a bad idea. There are rare exceptions (no strong, significant talent above them, very talented themselves, a team that is so experienced that a freshmen QB can't really mess things up too much.) These, however, are the exceptions, and not the rule.


September 18th, 2012 at 11:47 AM ^

Keep in mind that after this season is over, Gardner and Bellomy are the ONLY scholarship quarterbacks on the spring roster. Morris will not come in until the fall. As much as people think Morris is the next great Michigan quarterback, it would not be beneficial to have him start as a freshman.

Bottom line: Gardner is a full-time quarterback in the spring. You cannot run a team/practice with only one scholarship quarterback. We should all hope he becomes one hell of a quarterback (or Bellomy does) instead of him becoming worthy of the #1 jersey (absolutely no disrespect to the OP - good thought exercise and valid line of reasoning).


September 18th, 2012 at 11:56 AM ^

It would be nice if we as a fanbase could get back to the idea that numbers are for player identification purposes only, and are not meant to indicate how good a player is.