QB Devin Gardner expected to be granted redshirt, earn 5th season of eligibility
ANN ARBOR -- Devin Gardner's four-game tour at quarterback ended on a sour note, but was mostly a success and gives Michigan hope that life after Denard Robinson holds promise.
And now, it appears Gardner could be sticking around for an extra year.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Monday he expects Gardner's medical hardship waiver to be accepted, which would grant the junior a redshirt for an injury-shortened true freshman season.
That means Gardner would have two years of eligibility remaining instead of one.
"I would expect that would go through," Hoke said. "I think all the documentation and everything is being sent to the Big Ten."
Gardner played in three of the first four games of his freshman season in 2010 while backing up Denard Robinson at quarterback, but a balky back sidelined him and he didn't play the rest of the season.
He finished the year 7-of-10 passing for 85 yards and one touchdown, all coming in action against Bowling Green.
Gardner moved to receiver for the start of this season, but slid back to quarterback after Robinson suffered nerve damage in his throwing elbow. He made four starts under center, guiding Michigan to a 3-1 record and picking up two Big Ten offensive player of the week awards.
He was 57-of-90 passing for 1,005 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions, and also rushed for seven touchdowns. He tied a Michigan record with six scores overall against Iowa.
"I think there is some momentum," Hoke said. "I know how terrible he feels right now (after the loss to Ohio State), but there is momentum and things to learn from. He had some success too.
"He’s going to have compete and earn (the starting job next year), but he’s done a good job with what we’ve asked him to do."
Hoke said he expects reserve quarterback Russell Bellomy to return next year. The redshirt freshman hasn't played since struggling against Nebraska, then suffering from an unknown "condition."
Hoke said Bellomy will compete with Gardner for the starting job next year. Incoming freshman Shane Morris, a five-star recruit, is expected to be in the fold as well.