Devin Gardner once burned an Ohio State recruiting letter, says he's ready to play in 'The Game'
ANN ARBOR -- Devin Gardner was once recruited by Urban Meyer to play football at Florida.
But he doesn't want to talk about that.
The Michigan junior was also offered a scholarship, once upon a time, by Ohio State. And several years later, Gardner says he cannot find that Jim Tressel-issued offer letter.
Because he burned it.
"Yes, I did (burn the letter)," Gardner admitted with a laugh Monday. "But I had already committed to the University of Michigan.
"And I was pretty bitter that they didn't offer me a scholarship."
Gardner says he's not sure what might have happened if Ohio State had offered him before he committed to Michigan, saying that, as a recruit, he took a look at every school that showed interest in him.
Current 2013 Michigan commit Logan Tuley-Tillman did the same thing this past summer when Urban Meyer sent him a letter tucked inside an Ohio State envelope. Tuley-Tillman broadcast his letter-burning episode on Twitter.
Gardner, of course, did not. But that doesn't mean he didn't get the same type of reaction.
"My brother texted me and told me I shouldn't have done that," Gardner laughed.
Fast forward to the present, and Gardner is about to finally have his first on-field Michigan-Ohio State moment.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke wouldn't say who his starting quarterback will be Saturday in Columbus (12 p.m., ABC), but it's a safe bet Gardner -- who says his most vivid Michigan-Ohio State memory is the No. 1 vs. No. 2 game in 2006 -- will be doing some work under center against the Buckeyes.
In his past three starts, Gardner is 46 of 70 through the air for 834 yards, 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He's also rushed for 6 scores on the ground.
When the Wolverines visited Ohio Stadium two seasons ago, Gardner watched the game from the sidelines as a freshman, hoping he'd one day get a shot to make his mark on the "The Horseshoe."
Saturday, he finally gets his chance.
"The last time I was down there I was a freshman and I watched from the sideline," Gardner said. "It was an amazing environment. The entire time, although we lost and were losing, I couldn't wait to get the opportunity to be a key element in the rivalry.
"It's going to be exciting."